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the God of heaven and earth ? By suck apologies shall man insult his Creator ? Shall he hope to flatter the ear of Omnipotence, and beguile the observation of an omnis
cient 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 trilling 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 dis
dains 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 apolo
gies is passing away. All our eloquent defences of our30 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 35 guests. The God of Heaven needs not our presence to
adorn his table, for whether we accept, or whether we reject his gracious invitation, whether those who were bid. den 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 5 heaven without its inhabitants. Let us then remembe:
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.
XVII. — THE FALL OF POLAND.
CAMPBELL. The following extract is from the “Pleasures of Hope.” The events which it commemorates took place in 1794. 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,
Her whisker'd pandoors and her fierce hussars,
Peal'd her loud drum, and twang'd her trumpet horn;
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 ; 30 called because originally raised from the mountainous districts, near the village of Pandur, in Lower Hungary.
Yet, though destruction sweep those lovely plains,
And swear for her to live — with her to die!
His trusty warriors, few, but undismay’d;
Low murmuring sounds along their banners fly, 10 Revenge, or death, — the watchword and reply;
Then peal’d the notes, omnipotent to charm,
In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few !
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime;
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,
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;
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,
O righteous Heaven! ere Frecdom found a grave, Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save ? 35 Where was thine arm, O Vengeance ! where thy rod,
That smote the foos of Zion and of God;
That crush'd proud Ammon, when his iron car
Of blood-stain’d Pharaoh left their trembling coast,
Departed spirits of the mighty dead !
Friends of the world ! restore your swords to man, 10 Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van!
Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone,
The patriot Tell — the Bruce of Bannockburn! 15 Ye fond adorers of departed fame,
Who warm at Scipio's worth, or Tully's name !
Rapt in historic ardor, who adore
Where valor tuned, amidst her chosen throng,
Of England's glory, and Helvetia's arms ! 25 See Roman fire in Hampden's bosom swell,
And fate and freedom in the shaft of Tell !
No more shall Brutus bid a tyrant die,
Hampden no more, when suffering Freedom calls,
The might that slumbers in a peasant's arm? *" The Theban Lyre.” The poetry of Pindar, a celebrated lyric poet, born
Yes, in that generous cause, forever strong,
Skall charm the world, unconscious of decay.
That slumber yet in uncreated dust,
Ordain'd to light with intellectual day, 10 The mazy wheels of nature as they play,
Or, warm with Fancy's energy, to glow,
XVIII. - THE LAST DAYS OF SIR WALTER SCOTT:
LOCKHART. [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 filows 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