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One half of the world knows not how the other lives; and therefore the better sort pity not the distressed; and the miserable envy not those who fare better, because they know it not. Each man judges of others' condition by his own. The worst sort would be too much discontented, if they saw how far more pleasant the life of others is; and if the better sort (such we call those which are greater) could look down to the infinite miseries of inferiours, it would make them either miserable in compassion or proud in conceit. It is good sometimes for the delicate rich man to look into the poor man's cupboard ; and seeing God gives him not to know their sorrow by experience, to know it yet in speculation. This shall leach him more thanks to God, more mercy to men, more contentment in himself.
Where there are divers opinions, they may be all false; there can be but one true, and that truth ofttimes must be fetched by piecemeal out of divers branches of contrary opinions. For it falls out not seldom, that truth is through ignorance or rash vehemency, scattered into sundry parts; and, like to a little silver melted amongst the ruins of a burnt house, must be tried out from heaps of much superfluous ashes. There is much pains in the search of it, much skill in the finding it; the value of it once found requites the cost of both.
It is not good to be continual in denunciation of judgment. The noise to which we are accustomed, though loud, wakes us not; whereas a less, if unusual, stirreth us. The next way to make threatenings contemned, is to make them common. It is a profitable rod that strikes sparingly, and frights somewhat oftener than it smiteth.
Want of use causeth disability, and custom perfection. Those that have not been used to pray in their closet, cannot pray in public, but coldly and in form. He that discontinues meditation shall be long in recovering; whereas the man inured to these exercises, who is not dressed till he have prayed, nor hath supped till he have meditated, doth both these well and with ease. He that intermits good duties incurs a double loss; of the blessing that followeth good, of the faculty of doing it.
He that doeth not secret service to God with some delight, doth but counterfeit in public. The truth of any act or passion is then best tried, when it is without witness. Openly, many sinister respects may draw from us a form of religious duties; secretly, nothing but the power of a good conscience. It is to be feared, God hath more true and devout service in closets, than in churches.
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL.
BY MRS. IIF.MANS.
Hush! 'tis a holy hour!—the quiet room Seems like a temple, while yon soft lamp sheds
A faint and starry radiance through the gloom
And the sweet stillness, down on bright young heads,
With all their clustering locks, untouch'd by care,
And bowed—as flowers are bow'd with night—in prayer.
Gaze on, 'tis lovely! childhood's lip and cheek,
Gaze! yet what seest thou in those fair and meek
—Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky,
What death must fashion for eternity!
O joyous creatures! that will sink to rest
As birds with slumber's honey-dew oppress'd,
Lift up your hearts! though yet no sorrow lies
Dark in the summer-heaven of those clear eyes.
Though fresh within your breasts th' untroubled springs
And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingled low,
Is woman's tenderness—how soon her woe!
Her lot is on you !—silent tears to weep,
And patient smiles to wear through suffering's hour,
Her lot is on you!—to be found untir'd
Watching the stars out by the bed of pain,
And take the thought of this calm vesper time,
On through the dark days fading from their prime,
Earth will forsake—Oh happy to have given
Th' unbroken heart's first fragrance unto heaven!
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
Sir,—The following was composed and handed to me by an interesting old gentleman of this city, a refugee from the troubles of St. Domingo, with e request that I would attempt a translation. The deep spirit of religious penitence which prevades this little effusion, induced me to suppose that both the original and translation might be not unacceptable to your readers. A Subscriber,
Charleston, S. C.
INVOCATION A L'ETRE SUPREME.
Penetre de douleur de t'avoir offense,
Ne m'abandonne pas dans le malheur extreme,
Si tu veux m'accabler du poids de ta justice,
INVOCATION TO THE SUPREME BEING.
Offended Lord! o'erwhelmed with grief and shame,
Cast me not off, the victim of despair,
If thy stern justice should exact my doom,
Art. I.—A Treatise on Christian Doctrine, compiled from the Holy Scriptures alone. By John Milton. Translated from the Original by Charles R. Sumner, M. A. Librarian and Historiographer to His Majesty, and Pre- Boston, 1825. 2 vols. 8vo.
The discovery of a work of Milton, unknown to his own times, is an important event in literary history. The consideration, that we of this age are the first readers of this treatise, naturally heightens our interest in it; for we seem in this way to be brought nearer to the author, and to sustain the same relation which his cotemporaries bore to his writings. The work opens with a salutation, which, from any other man,
Edition. might be chargeable with inflation; but which we feel to be the natural and appropriate expression of the spirit of Milton. Endowed with gifts of the soul, which have been imparted to few of our race, and conscious of having consecrated them through life to God and mankind, he rose without effort or affectation to the style of an Apostle.—' John Milton, To All The Churches Of Christ, And To All Who Profess The Christian Faith Throughout The World, Peace, And The Recognition Of The Truth, And Eternal Salvation In God The Fathek, And In our Lord Jesus Christ.' Our ears are the first to hear this benediction, and it seems not so much to be borne to us from a distant age, as to come immediately from the sainted spirit, by which it was indited.
Without meaning to disparage the 'Treatise on Christian Doctrine,' we may say that it owes very much of the attention, which it has excited, to the fame of its author. We value it chiefly as showing us the mind of Milton on that subject, which above all others, presses upon men of thought and sensibility. We want to know in what conclusions such a man rested after a life of extensive and profound research, of magnanimous efforts for freedom and his country, and of communion with the most gifted minds in his own and former times. The book derives its chief interest from its author, and accordingly there seems to be a propriety in introducing our remarks upon it with some notice of the character of Milton. We are not sure that we could have abstained from this subject, even if we had not been able to offer so good an apology for attempting it. The intellectual and moral qualities of a great man are attractions not easily withstood, and we can hardly serve others or ourselves more, than by recalling to him the attention, which is scattered among inferiour topics.
In speaking of the Intellectual qualities of Milton, we may begin with observing, that the very splendour of his poetic fame has tended to obscure or conceal the extent of his mind, and the variety of its energies and attainments. To many he seems only a poet, when in truth he was a profound scholar, a man of vast compass of thought, imbued thoroughly with all ancient and modern learning, and able to master, to mould, to impregnate with his own intellectual power, his great and various acquisitions. He had not learned the superficial doctrine of a later day, that poetry flourishes most in an unculti