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the God of heaven and earth? By such apologies shall man insult his Creator? Shall he hope to flatter the ear of Omnipotence, and beguile the observation of an omniscient Spirit? Think you that such excuses will gain new 5 importance in their ascent to the throne of the Majesty on high? Will you trust the interests of eternity in the hands of these superficial advocates?
You have pleaded your incessant occupation. Exhibit then the result of your employment. Have you nothing
10 to produce but these bags of gold, these palaces, and farms, these bundles of cares, and heaps of vexations? Is the eye of Heaven to be dazzled by an exhibition of property, an ostentatious show of treasures? You surely produce not all these wasted hours, to prove that you had no time
15 for religion. It is an insult to the Majesty of Heaven. Again, you have pleaded your youth, and you have pleaded your age. Which of these do you choose to maintain at the bar of Heaven? Such trifling would not be admitted in the intercourse of men, and do you think it
20 will avail more with Almighty God?
It must, however, be acknowledged that the case of the irreligious is not desperate, while excuses are thought proper and necessary. There is some glimmering of hope, that the man who apologizes is willing to amend. God
25 preserve us from that obduracy of wickedness, which disdains to palliate a crime; from that hardihood of unbelief, which will not give even a weak reason, and which derides the offer of an excuse. But the season of apologies is passing away. All our eloquent defences of our
30 selves must soon cease. Death stiffens the smooth tongue of flattery, and blots out, with one stroke, all the ingenious excuses, which we have spent our lives in framing.
At the marriage-supper, the places of those who refused to come were soon filled by a multitude of delighted
85 guests. The God of Heaven needs not our presence to adorn his table, for whether we accept, or whether wo reject his gracious invitation, whether those who were bidden taste or not of his supper, his house shall be filled. Though many are called and few chosen, yet Christ has not died in vain, religion is not without its witnesses, or heaven without its inhabitants. Let us then remember that one thing is needful, and that there is a better part than all the pleasures and selfish pursuits of this world, a part which we are encouraged to secure, and which can never be taken away.
XVIL —THE FALL OF POLAND. Campbell.
fThe following extract is from the "Pleasures of Hope." The events which it commemorates took place in 17t>4. Warsaw was captured by the Russians in November of that year. Kosciusko did not literally " fall," that is, die, at that time. He was severely wounded and taken prisoner in a battle shortly before the capture of Warsaw, but he lived till 1817. "Sarmatia "is used poetically for Poland, being the name by which the Romans designated that portion of Europe. "Prague" is Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, on the opposite side of the Vistula, and joined to the main city by a bridge of boats.]
O Sacred Truth! thy triumph ceased a while, And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to smile, When leagued Oppression pour'd to Northern wars Her whiskcr'd pandoors° and her fierce hussars, 5 Waved her dread standard to the breeze of morn, Peal'd her loud drum, and twang'd her trumpet horn; Tumultuous horror brooded o'er her van, Presaging wrath to Poland — and to man!
Warsaw's last champion from her height survey'd, 10 Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid, —
O Heaven! he cried, my bleeding country save ! —
* Pandoor, one of a body of light infantry soldiers in the service of Austria; so called because originally raised from the mountainous districts, near th« tillage of Pandur, in Lower Hungary.
Yet, though destruction sweep those lovely plains, Rise, fellow-men! our country yet remains!By that dread name, we wave the sword on high, And swear for her to live — with her to die! 5 He said, and on the rampart-heights array'd His trusty warriors, few, but undismay'd;Firm-paced and slow, a horrid front they form, Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm;Low murmuring sounds along their banners fly, 10 Revenge, or death, — the watchword and reply;Then peal'd the notes, omnipotent to charm, And the loud tocsin toll'd their last alarm! — In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few!From rank to rank your volley'd thunder flew: — 15 O, bloodiest picture in the book of Time, Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime;Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe, Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe!Dropp'd from her nerveless grasp the shatter'd spear, 20 Closed her bright eye, and curb'd her high career: — Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell, And freedom shriek'd — as Kosciusko fell!
The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there, Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air — 25 On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow, His blood-dyed waters murmuring far below;The storm prevails, the rampart yields a way, Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay!Hark, as the smouldering piles with thunder fall, 30 A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call!
Earth shook — red meteors flash'd along the sky, And conscious Nature shudder'd at the cry!
O righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave, Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save? 35 Where was thine arm, O Vengeance! where thy rod, That smote the foes of Zion and of God;
That crush'd proud Ammon, when his iron car
Departed spirits of the mighty dead!
10 Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van!
15 Ye fond adorers of departed fame,
Who warm at Scipio's worth, or Tully's name!
20 Each classic haunt, and well-remember'd shore,
25 See Roman fire in Hampden's bosom swell.
30 And sternly smile with vengeance in his eye?
* " The Theban Lyre." The poetry of Pindar, a celebrated lyric poet, borj In Thebes.
"Ses, in that generous cause, forever strong,
XVIII. —THE LAST DAYS OF SIR WALTER SCOTT
[The Life of Scott, by his son-in-law, John Gibson Lockhart, is one of the most delightful books in the language; in all parts full of interest, which becomes of a melancholy cast towards the close. Lockhart was a man of brilliant literary powers. He wrote " Valerius," "Matthew Wald," "Adam Blair," and "Reginald Dalton," all novels; "Peter's Letters," a series of sketches of Scotch society and of eminent men in Scotland; and a volume of translations from the Spanish ballads. He was also a frequent contributor to the earlier numbers of " Blackwood's Magazine." He was born in Glasgow in 1792, and died at Abbotsford, in 1854. He had been for many years editor of the " Quarterly Review."
In consequence of Sir Walter Scott's declining health, he had passed the winter of 1831-2 in Italy; but with very little benefit. In June, 1832, while on his way home, he had an attack of apoplectic paralysis, from which he never rallied. On the 9th of July, he reached Edinburgh, in a state of almost entire insensibility. This extract begins with his removal to his own house at Abbotsford, about forty miles south-east of Edinburgh, on the Tweed. The Gala flows into the Tweed near by.]
At a very early hour on the morning of Wednesday, the 11th, we again placed him in his carriage, and he lay in the same torpid state during the first two stages on the road to Tweedside. But as we ascended the vale of the 5 Gala, he began to gaze about him, and by degrees it was obvious that he was recognizing the features of that