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Mixed with those thoughts, like clouds that hover
Veiling the moon's pale beauty over
Like a dark spirit brooding there.
But sisters, these wild thoughts were never
To hear the wind's wild melody;
And linger round a cheerful hearth,
But, sisters, as the stars of even
Shrink from Day's golden, flashing eye,
The fond, the young, like stars that wane,
Till every link of earth be parted,
To form in Heaven one mystic chain.
IMPORTANCE OF A WELL TRAINED MIND.
One of the great distinguishing characteristics of man, consists in the intellectual faculties with which he has been endowed, and the union of which constitutes mind. It is this which makes him the noblest work of God, and lord of creation; it is this which constitutes him an intelligent and a responsible being; it is this which, when God said, "Let us make man in our image," constitutes that image, as he was gifted with intelligence and moral freedom. But by a willful act of disobedience these powers of mind have become deranged; and in this deplorable condition, the antagonistic principles which are at war in the world of mind, and which produce such misery, wretchedness and distress among mankind, it should be the noble aim and aspirations of all to correct.
Reason has been hurled from the throne of Justice, whilst malice, envy and prejudice have taken its seat, and sway the sceptre of universal tyranny and oppression. The will has been taken captive and brought under subjection to all the detestable passions which render the human family miserable. Instead of making the subject a law unto himself, he now yields himself a willing vassal to all the vices to which human nature is heir. Notwithstanding this, there is still a principle within the human breast which strives to extricate itself from the mass of corruption in which it is involved, and to insist in imparting happiness unto others.
In order that this may be realized, it is indispensably neces
sary that all the powers of the mind be thoroughly and correctly trained. The blessings which will accrue from such a mind, will be invaluable to the melioration of society; and its influence will be felt till heaven shall be rolled together as a great scroll, and the elements melt with fervent heat.
The nearest approximation we can make to, and the clearest view we can obtain of, the importance of a well-trained mind, is when we view the different spheres and occupations in which man is called to move and act. Time and space will not permit us to enter into detail of all these, but let a cursory view of the leading and most important stations of life suffice.
The first which we shall introduce is the Lawyer, to whom the balances of justice are committed, that the law should be preserved as a corrective against all the encroachments which should be made upon it. To the despiser and the violator of law, the law demands reparation in his punishment, and that justice be meted out to the wronged. In the hands of the lawyer is placed that which is most sacred to men's earthly existence as a body politic, and their peace, prosperity and happiness, as individuals Often is he called on to adjust difficulties which spring up and exist in the daily intercourse of life.
But men blinded by interest and passion, will diverge more and more from right and justice, instead of approaching an amicable adjustment, until little affairs become magnified and result in serious consequences. How important then, that the lawyer, who is generally called in as a third party, have his mind so trained as to be unbiased in all his counsels, and award the parties their just due. Let the lawyer lose sight of the noble principles of truth, integrity and honor, and no matter how much knowledge he possesses and intellectual training he has had, he engulphs himself in the whirlpool of dishonor, deceives, injures and wrongs those who committed their sacred rights to his disposal. Let him lose sight of these noble principles, which should adorn his character, and he becomes utterly unfit and unworthy to guide the destiny of the masses, and the settling of the difficulties among men.
It is the lawyer with his store of knowledge of men and of things, which make him the radiating point of intellectual light; and his daily intercourse influences and shapes the opinions and conduct of society. Hence it is that he is often called into the political arena of life, being more acquainted with the masses and the interests of the community, and his education and business give him a more thorough knowledge of public affairs.
How important that men placed in such posts of trust, as to legislate for the public good should have all the faculties of the mind, especially the judgment, the faculty of decision, together with the will, so trained as not to be influenced by prejudices, weakened and paralyzed by passions, which would prove deleterious to men's inalienable rights, instead of a balm and a remedy for correcting existing evils and difficulties.
True, the lawyer is looked upon by the illiterate, not as one to counteract and allay the evils which spring from man's nature, but one who studies to turn the collisions of interest and the ebullitions of passion to his own selfish aggrandizement. This arises from those who enter the possession with selfish. motives. The lawyer is not to defend the wrong of those who call upon him to plead their cause and make their injustice by his sophistry appear the better justice; but his business and duty is to keep the injustice of his client from appearing any worse than what it really is. This is the position in which the law places every one who enters its profession; and in this idea is the remedy for the innumerable evils in society; and he who transcends its bounds, foments the social evils which afflict and disturb the peace and happiness of mankind. He who enters it with the intention of spreading the meshes of the law, to entrammel the unguarded, like the spider with its web, as its legitimate prey, perjures himself and proves a traitor to the law, and a curse to soecity. A mind trained thus and perverted by passion, will neither prove a blessing to society, nor enjoy the peace, comfort and happiness of the philanthropist.
The Physician occupies a place in society not less important to her welfare than that of the lawyer.
The good or evil he does is not merely confined to the diseases he cures or aggravates; but the influence exerted by his intellectual and moral training tell powerfully upon society, either to alleviate or confirm the intellectual and moral diseases of his patient. The mind that is well trained, will at the same time have all the nobler feelings of the soul developed with it; and thus the sphere in which the physician is called to move, is one of vast importance, not only to ease the physical sufferings and miseries of mankind, but also to transfuse a salutary influence in remedying the social evils of society. Often is the physician called to grapple with disease in its most appalling and distressing forms; and this is the time the anxious eyes of the suffering patient, and the entreating and wishful looks of encompassing affection are turned towards him and trust in his skill. Languuge cannot describe the anguish of that moment,
if he cannot return those looks in the full consciousness that he has done all that man can do in the way of sympathy and in preparing himself to meet the exigencies of such a crisis. Such a culture of mind and heart should always accompany the skill of the physician; and it will never fail to gain for him admission to the closest friendship of the domestic circle, and nearness to the heart made less cruel by suffering and sorrow. Such accomplishments will draw out the nobler feelings of man's nature and intertwine themselves, until a wreath of peace and happiness is formed to adorn society and mitigate its evils.
The audiences of the physician are not so large, but he meets them more frequently, and they give heed to him with greater confidence and less reserve than the audiences of the lawyer. He meets them not absorbed in the busy scenes of outdoor life, where the feelings and sympathies of man's heart are more or less expressed, but in the retired circle of the sick chamber, where all the tender feelings of the patient are awakened, and the sympathies of friends and connections are brought into active exercise in behalf of the afflicted. What place and time more suitable than this to probe and heal domestic wounds and prescribe virtues, whilst the heart is ingenuous and the mind susceptible? The physician who has had his mind and heart properly trained, in the language of another, "moves in society, the solace of the suffering, the counsellor of the ignorant, the mediator of peace, the delight of friendship, and the ornament of the social circle."
It yet remains for us to glance at the influences exerted upon society by the Clerical profession. Who can estimate it? In this relation of man to his fellow man, a greater influence is exerted in the meliorations of mankind, than in any other relation in which man is called to move and act. All the faculties of his mind are required to be trained and cultivated so as to enable him to think rightly, judge correctly, and that his mind be unbiased in its conceptions, or he can never understand the mysteries he is called to unfold. It requires that reason be again enthroned, whence it has been hurled, and man possess the moral freedom with which he was originally gifted and in which the image of God so beautifully consists. It is the mind which has all its powers properly cultivated and sanctified, that penetrates the inward life of humanity and elevates the happiness of mankind. It must be daily conversant with things beyond this terrestrial sphere, which have a leavening nature and which alleviate the social evils of society and represses the baser passions of the soul. This is the great secret of the
clergyman's influence above all other professions. He drinks deep of the fountain which contains the waters of life, and thus becomes an outlet of that fountain to irrigate the heart of man, and infuse into it a principle of life, which shall make it fruitful in the production of peace and happiness. Here is where heathen priests and priests of false religious fail to raise their people above their animal nature, and infuse into them principles of virtue.
The many thousands of discourses, embracing almost every topic of morals, proclaimed every week from the sacred desk, implant in the heart of man aspirations after freedom from its evil possessions, and resolutions to elevate himself above his animal nature. There is not a feature or a look in the character of his Saviour which he reflects in his own, but what will tell in his own weekly ministrations, and add power to the truths brought forth and conveyed to the conscience and the heart. With the truth of the language of the Apostle Paul, entering into his very being, "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh," and this truth working in him both to will and to do of God's pleasure he proves a blessing to his day and generation by causing iniquity to hide its face in shame.
These are the professions on which society is based, and through which peace and happiness must flow and elevate the morals of society. Remove either of them, or disconnect them from a thorough training of the mind and heart, and you at once open all the flood-gates of vice, misery and distress, to which human nature is heir. It is necessary that the inscription upon the temple of Apollo "Know Thyself," be truly the consciousness of every individual, both as regards a knowledge of his relation to God and man; and especially should it be of the professions on which society is based. Seek, reader, to know and understand the true meaning of your own existence, and let every effort made in the cultivation of your mind be of great importance to the welfare of the human race. Let the inscription, "Know Thyself," be the combined effort of your mind, and the influence that will be exerted by it, will be sensibly felt through all time to come in the melioration of society; and will be a source of happiness, comfort and pleasure to your own individual existence. J. Í.
THERE is a deal more truth than poetry in the following verse:
Young ladies, rising with the dawn,
Steal the roses from the morn;
But when young ladies sleep till ten,