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VOICES OF THE TRU E-HEARTED.
BY JOHN TODD.
That voice's echo hath not died !
are glowing conceptions, but they are not the work From the blue lake of Gallilee,
of a depraved imagination. They will all be realizAnd Tabor's lonely mountain side,
ed. Sin and death will long walk hand in hand on It calls a struggling world to thee.
this earth, and their footsteps will not be entirely
blotted out until the fires of the last day have melt, Thy name and watchward o'er this land
ed the globe. But the head of the one is already I hear in every breeze that stirs ;
bruised, and the sting is already taken from the And round a thousand altars stand
other. They may long roar, but they walk in chains, Thy banded party worshippers.
and the eye of faith sees the hand that holds the
chains. Not to these altars of a day, At party's call, my gift I bring;
But we have visions still brighter. We look for But on thy olden shrine I lay
new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth A freeman's dearest offering :
righteousness. No sin will be there to mar the beau
ty, no sorrow to diminish a joy, no anxiety to corThe voiceless utterance of his will
rode the heart, or cloud the brow. Our characters may His pledge to Freedom and to Truth,
be tested, in part, by our anticipations. If our thoughts That manhood's heart remembers still
and feelings are running in the channel of time, and The homage of his generous youth.
dancing from one earthly bubble to another, though our hopes may come in angel-robes, it is a sad proof that our hearts are here also.
The world, the great mass of mankind, have utTHE OBJECT OF LIFE.
terly misunderstood the real object of life on earth, or else he misunderstands it who follows the light of
the Bible. You look at men as individuals, and How many beautiful visions pass before the mind their object seems to be to gratify a contemptible in a single day, when the reins are thrown loose, and vanity, to pervert and follow their low appetites and fancy feels no restraints! How curious, interesting passions, and the dictates of selfishness, wherever and instructive would be the history of the work they may lead. You look at men in the aggregate, ings of a single mind for a day! How many ima- and this pride and these passions terminate in wide ginary joys, how many airy castles, pass before it, plans of ambition, in wars and bloodshed, in strifes which a single jostle of this rough world at once and the destruction of all that is virtuous or lovely. destroys! Who is there of my readers who has not The history of mankind has its pages all stained imagined a summer fairer than ever bloomed, with blood; and it is the history of a race whose obscenery in nature more perfect than was ever com-ject seemed to be, to debase their powers, and sink bined by the pencil,-abodes more beautiful than what was intended for immortal glory, to the deepwere ever reared,-honors more distinguished than est degradation which sin can cause. At one time, were ever bestowed,-homes more peaceful than you will see an army of five millions of men followwere ever enjoyed,-companions more angelic than ing a leader, who, to add to his poor renown, is now ever walked this earth, -and bliss more complete, to jeopardize all these lives, and the peace of his and joys more thrilling than were ever allotted to whole kingdom. This multitude of minds fall in, and man ?
You may call these the dreams of imagin- they live, and inarch, and fight and perish to aid in exation, but they are common to the student. To the alting a poor worm of the dust. What capacities were man who lives for this world alone, these visions of here assembled! What minds were here put in mobliss, poor as they are, are all that ever come. But tion! What a scene of struggles were here! And good men have their anticipations-not the paintings who, of all this multitude, were pursuing the real of fancy, but the realities which faith discovers. object of life? From Xerxes, at their head, to the Good men have the most vivid conceptions. Wit- lowest and most debased in the rear of the army, ness those of old. As they look down the vale of was there one, who, when weighed in the balances time, they see a star arise, -the everlasting hills do of eternal truth, was fulfilling the object for which bow, the valleys are raised, and the moon puts on he was created, and for which life is continued ? the brightness of the sun. The deserts and the dry Look again. All Europe rises up in phrensy, and places gush with waters. Nature pauses. The ser pours forth a living tide towards the Holy Land. pent forgets his fangs; the lion and the lamb sleep They muster in the name of the Lord of Hosts.side by side, and the hand of the child is in the mane The cross waves on their banners, and the holy of the tiger. Nations gaze till they forget the mur sepulchre is the watchword by day and night. -derous work of war, and the garments rolled in They move eastward, and whiten the burning sands blood. The whole earth is enlightened, and the star of the deserts with their bleaching bones. But of shines on till it brings in everlasting day. Here all these, from the fanatic whose voice awoke Eu
VOICES OF THE TRUE-HEARTED.
rope to arms, down to the lowest horse-boy, how, generate a nation, in trying to build up a system of few were actuated by any spirit which Heaven, or corrupt paganism; and when that system was built justice, to say nothing about love could sanction ! - up-let the shape and form be what it might-the Suppose the same number of men, the millions nation had exhausted its energies, and it sunk and fell which composed the continent which rose up to ex- under the effects of misapplied and perverted mind. terminate another, and who followed the man who No nation existed on the face of the earth, which was first a soldier and then a priest and hermit, and was not crumbling under the use of its perverted who has left the world in doubt whether he was a energies, when the gospel reached it. Our ancestors prophet, a madman, a fool, or a demagogue, had were crushed under the weightof a Druidical priestspent the same treasures of life, and of money, in hood, and the rites of that bloody system of religion. trying to spread the spirit of that Saviour for whose Another striking instance of the perversion of mind, tomb they could waste so much; and suppose this and the abuse of the human intellect and heart, is army had been enlightened and sanctified men, and the system of the Romish church. No one created had devoted their powers to do good to mankind, mind, apparently, could ever have invented a scheme and to honor their God, how different would the of delusion, of degradation of the soul, the intellect, world have been found to day! How many, think the whole man, so perfect and complete as is this.you, of all the then Christian world, acted under a What minds must have been employed in shutting spirit, and with an object before them such as the out the light of heaven, and in burying the manna, world will approve, and especially such as the pure which fell in showers so extended! What a system ! beings above us will approve ?
To gather all the books in the world, and put them Look a moment at a few of the efforts which ava- all within the stone walls of the monastery and the rice has made. For about four centuries, the ava- cloister,—to crush schools, except in these same rice of man, and of Christian men too, has been prey- monasteries, in which they trained up men to ing upon the vitals of Africa. It has taken the sons become more and more skilful in doing the work and daughters of Ham, and doomed soul and body to of ruin,--to delude the world with ceremonies and debasement, to ignorance, to slavery. And what fooleries, while the Bible was taken away, and reare the results ? Twenty-eight millions—more ligion muttered her rites in an unknown tongue, than twice the population of this country-have and all this was the result of a settled plan to debeen kidnapped and carried away from the land of base the intellect and mock poor human nature ! their birth. The estimate is, that the increase in And, when the Reformation held up all these abominthe house of bondage since those times, is five-fold, ations to light, what a master piece was the last plan or nearly one hundred and seventy millions of hu- laid to stifle the reason forever !—the inquisition.man, immortal beings, cut off from the rights of man, It was reared through the Christian world : the deand, by legislation and p!anning, reduced far towards cree by a single blow, proscribed between sixty and the scale of the brutes. This is only a single form in seventy printing presses, and excommunicated all which avarice has been exerting its power. Suppose who shouid ever read any thing which they might the same time and money, the same effort, had been produce. A philosopher, who, like Galileo, could spent in spreading the arts of civilization, learning pour light upon science, and astonish the world by and religion, over the continent of Africa, what a his discoveries, must repeatedly fall into the cruel vast amount of good would have been accomplished ! mercies of the inquisition. The ingenuity of hell And at the day when the recording angel reads the seemed tasked to invent methods by which the huhistory of the earth, how very different would be the man mind might be shut up in Egyptian darkness; picture, and the eternal condition of untold num- and never has a Catholic community been known to bers! If the marks of humanity are not all blotted out be other than degraded, ignorant, superstitious and from that race of miserable men, it is not because sunken. Let light in, and all who receive it rush to oppression has not been sufficiently legalized, and infidelity. But what a mass of mind has been, and avarice been allowed to pursue its victims, till the still is, employed in upholding this system! And grave became a sweet asylum.
what a loss to the world has it produced, in quenchI am trying to lead you to look at the great amount ing, in everlasting darkness, the uncounted millions of abuse and of perversion of mind, of which man- of glorious minds which have been destroyed by it! kind are constantly guilty. When Christianity be. If I could find it in my heart to anathematize any or. gan her glorious career, the world had exhausted its der of men, and I hope I cannot,-it would be those strength in trying to debase itself, and to sink low who are thus taking away the key of knowledge, enough to embrace paganism; and yet not so low, and preventing all within the compass of their influas not to try to exist in the shape of nations. The ence from fulfilling the great object for which they experiment had been repeated, times we know not were created. how many. Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, polished Was man created for war? Did his Maker creGreece, iron-footed Rome, mystical Hindooism, had ate the eye, that he might take better aim on the all tried it.
They spent each, mind enough to re- / field of battle? give him skill that he might invent
VOICES OF THE TRUE-HEARTED.
methods of slaying by thousands ? and plant a thirst We call ours the most enlightened nation on earth, in the soul, that it might be quenched by tl.e blood inferior to none in owning the spirit of Christianiof men ? What science or art can boast of more ty; and we claim this as an age behind none ever precision, of more to teach it, to hail it with enthu- enjoyed, for high moral principle and benevolent, siasm, and to celebrate it in song? Genius has ever disinterested action. But what is the principle in sat at the feet of Mars, and exhausted his efforts in the great mass of mankind ! When clouds gather preparing exquisite offerings. Human thought has in the political horizon, and war threatens a nation, never made such gigantic efforts as when employed how are the omens received? How many are there in scenes of butchery. Has skill ever been who turn aside and weep, and deprecate the guilt, more active and successful-has Poetry ever so the woe, and the indescribable evils and miseries of kindled, as when the flames of Troy lighted her page? war? The great majority of the nation feel that What school-boy is ignorant of the battle ground, the path of glory is now opening before them, and and the field of blood, where ancient and modern ar- that the honor which may possibly be attained by a mies met and tried to crush each other? Has Music few battles, is ample compensation for the expense, ever thrilled like that which led men to battle, and the morals, the lives and the happiness, which must the plume of the desert-bird ever danced so grace be sacrificed for the possibility. Let that nation fully as when on the head of the warrior ? Are any rush to war for some supposed point of honor.honors so freely bestowed, or cheaply purchased, as Watch the population as they collect, group after those which are gained by a few hours of fighting ? group, under the burning sun, all anxious, all eager, See that man, who, so late, was the wonder of the and all standing as if in deep expectation for the world, calling out, marshalling, employing and wast- signal which was to call them to judgment. They ing almost all the treasures of Europe, for twelve or are waiting for the first tidings of the battle, where fifteen years. What multitudes of minds did he call the honor of the nation is staked. No tidings that to the murderous work of war !-minds that might ever came from Heaven can send a thrill of joy so have blessed the world with literature, with science, deep as the tidings that one ship has conquered or with schools, and with the gospel of peace, had they sunk another. not been perverted from the great and best object of Was it any thing remarkable, that, in the very living! Says a philosophical writer, speaking on this heart of a Christian nation, a single horse-race subject, “I might suppose for the sake of illustra- brought over fifty thousand people together? Were tion, that all the schemes of ambition, and cruelty, they acting so much out of the character of the mass and intrigue, were blotted from the page of history, of mankind as to cause it to make any deep impresthat, against the names of the splendid and guilty ac- sion upon the moral sensibilities of the nation? tors, whom the world, for ages, has wondered at, Suppose it were known that a mind was now in there were written achievements of Christian be process of training, which might, if its powers were nevolence, equally grand and characteristic,—and properly directed, be equal to Milton or Locke; but then ask what a change would there be in the scenes that, instead of this, it will waste its powers in crewhich the world has beheld transacted, and what a ating such song as Byron wrote, or in weaving such difference in the results! Alexander should have webs as the schoolmen wove.
ve. Would the knowwon victories in Persia more splendid than those of ledge of such a waste of mind, such perversion of Granicus and Arbela ; he should have wandered over powers, cause a deep sensation of regret among men? India, like Buchanan, and wept for another world to or have such perversions been so common in the bring under the dominion of the Saviour; and re-world, that one such magnificent mind might be turning to Babylon, should have died, like Martyn, lost to mankind, and no one would mourn ? The the victim of Christian zeal. Cæsar should have answer is plain. The world has become so accusmade Gaul and Britain obedient to the faith, and cros- tomed to seeing mind prostituted to ignoble pur. sing the Rubicon with the apostolic legions, and poses, and influence which might reach round the making the Romans freemen of the Lord, should globe like a zone of mercy thrown away forever, have been the forerunner of Paul, and done half his that we hardly think of it as greatly out of the work. Charlemange should have been a Luther.- way. Charles of Sweeden should have been a Howard; A generation of men come on the stage of action; and, flying from the Baltic to the Euxine, like an they find the world in darkness, in ignorance, and in angel of mercy, should have fallen, when on sin. They live, gain the few honors which are easome errand of love, and, numbering his days by the sily plucked, gather the little wealth which toil and good deeds he had done, should have died like Mills anxiety.will bestow, and then pass away. As a whole, in an old age of charity. Voltaire should have writ- the generation do not expect or try to throw an inten Christian tracts. Rousseau should have been a fluence upon the world which shall be redeeming. Fenelon. Hume should have unravelled the intri. They do not expect to leave the world materially cacies of theology, and defended like Edwards, the better than they found it. Why do we not mourn faith once delivered to the saints."
that such myriads of immortal minds are destined
VOICES OF THE TRUE-HEARTED
to pass away, and never to break out in acts of mer Who seemed so little likely to understand such a cy and kindness to the world ? Because we have position, as the Indians of North America ? Yet so long been so prodigal of mind, that we hardly how readily they laid down tomahawks and scalpnotice its loss.
ing-knives at the feet of William Penn! With what humble sorrow they apologized for killing the only
two Quakers they were ever known to attack! CHRIST-LIKE.
- The men carried arms,” said they, " and therefore BY LYDIA MARIA CHILD.
we did not know they were not fighters. We thought To-day is Christmas. For several days past, cart- they pretended to be Quakers, because they were loads of ever-greens have gone by my windows, cowards.” The savages of the East, who murdered the pure snow falling on them, soft and still as a Lyman and Munson, made the same excuse. - They blessing. To-day, churches are wreathed in ever-carried arms," said they, " and so we supposed they green, altars are illuminated, and the bells sound were not Christian missionaries, but enemies. We joyfully in Gloria Excelsis. Throngs of worshippers would have done them no harm, if we had known are going up to their altars, in the Greek, Syrian, they were men of God.” Armenian, Roman and English churches. Eighteen If a nation could but attain to such high wisdom as hundred years ago, a poor babe was born in a stable, to abjure war, and proclaim to all the earth, « We and a few lonely shepherds heard heavenly voices, will not fight, under any provocation. If other nasoft warbling over the moonlit hills, proclaiming tions have aught against us, we will settle the ques. « Peace on earth, and good will towards men.” tion by umpires mutually chosen.” Think you that Earth made no response to the chorus. It always any nation would dare to make war upon such a entertains angels unawares. When the Holy ONE people? Nay, verily, they would be instinctively came among them, they mocked and crucified him. ashamed of such an act, as men are now ashamed to But now the stars, in their midnight course listen to attack a woman or a child. Even if any were found millions of human voices, and deep organ-tones strug- mean enough to pursue such a course, the whole gling upwards, vainly striving to express the hopes civilized world would cry fie upon them, and by uniand aspirations, which that advent concentrated from versal consent, brand them as paltroons and assasthe past and prophesied for the future. From East sins. And assassins they would be, even in the comto West, from North to South, men chant hymns of mon acceptation of the term. I have read of a cerpraise to the despised Nazarene, and kneel in wor- tain regiment ordered to march, into a small town, ship before his cross. How beautiful is this univer- in the Tyrol, I think,) and take it. It chanced that sal homage to the Principle of Love ?--that femi- the place was settled by a colony who believed the nine principle of the universe, the inmost centre of gospel of Christ, and proved their faith by works. Christianity. It is the divine idea which distin. A courier from a neighboring village informed them guishes it from all other religious, and yet the idea that troops were advancing to take the town. They in which Christian nations evince so little faith, that quietly answered, “ If they will take it, they must.” one would think they kept, mly to swear by, that Soldiers soon came riding in, with colors flying, and gospel which says -- Swear not at all."
fifes piping their shrill defiance. They looked round Centuries have passed, and through infinite con- for an enemy, and saw the farmer at his plough, the flict have “ushered in our brief to-day;" and is blacksmith at his anvil, and the women at their there peace and good will among men ? Sincere churns and spinning-wheels. Babies crowed to hear faith in the words of Jesus would soon fulfil the the music, and boys ran out to see the pretty trainers, prophecy which angels sung. But the world per- with feathers and bright buttons, " the harlequins of sists in saying, “ This doctrine of unqualified for the nineteenth century." Of course, none of these giveness and perfect love, though beautiful and holy, were in a proper position to be shot at. « Where cannot be carried into practice now; men are not are your soldiers ?” they asked. " We have none," yet prepared for it.” The same spirit says, “ It was the brief reply. " But we have come to take would not be safe to emancipate slaves ; they must the town." “Well, friends, it lies before you." first be fitted for freedom.” As if slavery ever " But is there nobody here to fight ?” “No; we are could fit men for freedom, or war ever lead the na- all Christians.” Here was an emergency altogether tions into peace! Yet men who gravely utter these unprovided for by the military schools. This was a excuses, laugh at the shallow wit of that timid sort of resistance which no bullet could hit; a fortmother, who declared that her son should never ven ress perfectly bomb-proof. The commander was ture into the water till he had learned to swim. perplexed. If there is nobody to fight with, of
Those who have dared to trust the principles of course we cannot fight,” said he. • It is impossible peace, have always found them perfectly safe. It to take such a town as this.” So he ordered the can never prove otherwise, if accompanied by the horses to be turned about, and they carried declaration that such a course is the result of Chris- the human animals out of the village, as guiltless as tian principle, and a deep friendliness for humanity. they entered, and perchance somewhat wiser.
VOICES OF THE TRUE-HEARTED.
This experiment on a small scale indicates how reasons, Swedenborgians would add another; for aceasy it would be to dispense with armies and navies, cording to the doctrine of Correspondence unfolded if men only had faith in the religion they profess to by their “illuminated scribe," spring corresponds believe. When France lately reduced her army, to peace; that diapason note, from which all growth England immediately did the same; for the exist- rises in harmonious order. ence of one army creates the necessity for another, But I am willing to accept this wintry anniverunless men are safely ensconced in the bomb-proof sary, and take it to my heart. As the sun now begins fortress, above mentioned.
to return to us, so may the truth and love which he The doctrines of Jesus are not beautiful abstrac- typifies gradually irradiate and warm the globe. The tions, but living, vital truths. There is in them no Romans kept their festival with social feasts and elaborate calculation of consequences, but simply mutual gifts; and the windows of New York are the divine impulse uttered. They are few and sim- to-day, filled with all forms of luxury and splendor, ple, but infinite in spirit, and of universal applica- to tempt the wealthy, who are making up Christmas tion. Like the algebraic X, they stand for the un- boxes for family and friends. Many are the rich known quantity, and, if consulted aright, always jewels and shining stuffs, this day bestowed by afgive the true answer. The world has been deluged fection or vanity. In this I have no share ; but if I with arguments about war, slavery, &c., and the were as rich as John Jacob Astor, and not so fearful wisest product of them all, is simply an enlightened of poverty, as he is said to be, I would this day go application of the maxims of Jesus. Faith in God, to the shop of Baronto, a poor Italian artist, in Orlove to man, and action obedient thereto, from these chard street, buy all he has, and give freely to every flow all that belong to order, peace, and progress. one who enjoys forms of beauty. There are hidden Probably, the laws by which the universe were in that small obscure workshop, some little gems of made, are thus reducible to three in one, and all art. Alabaster nymphs, antique urns of agate, and varieties of creation are thence unfolded, as all Hebe vases of the costly Verd de Prato. There is melody and harmony, flow from three primal notes. something that moves me strangely in those old GreGod works synthetically. The divine idea goes cian forms. They stand like petrified melodies from forth and clothes itself in form, from which all the the world's youthful heart. I would like to buy out infinity of forms are evolved. We mortals see truth Baronto every Christmss, and mix those « fair huin fragments, and try to trace it upwards to its origin manities of old religion,” with the Madonnas and by painful analysis. In this there is no growth. Saviours of a more spiritual time. All creation, all life, is evolved by the opposite pro A friend of mine, who has no money to spend for cess. We must reverence truth. We must have jewels or silks, or even antique vases, has employed that faith in it, of which action is the appropriate his Christmas more wisely than this; and in his acform; and lo, the progress which we have sought for tion, there is more angelic music, than in those diso painfully, will unfold upon us, as naturally as the vine old statues. He filled a large basket full of seed expands into blossoms and fruit.
cakes, and went forth into our most miserable I did not mean to preach a sermon. But the ever- streets, to distribute them among hungry children. greens, and the music from neighboring churches, How little dirty faces peeped after him, round street carried me back to the hill-sides of Palestine, and corners, and laughed from behind open gates! How my spirit involuntary began to ask, What response their eyes sparkled as they led along some shivering does earth now give to that chorus of peace and good barefooted urchin, and cried out, “This little boy has will?
had no cake, sir !” Sometimes a greedy lad would It matters little that Christ was not born on that get two shares by false pretences; but this was no day, which the church has chosen to commemorate conclusive proof of total depravity, in children who his birth. The associations twined around it for never ate cake from Christmas to Christmas. No many centuries, have consecrated it to my mind wonder the stranger with his basket, excited a proNor am I indifferent to the fact, that it was the old digious sensation. Mothers came to see who it was Roman festival for the birth of the Sun. As a form that had been so kind to their little ones. Every one of their religious idea, it is interesting to me, and I had a story to tell of health ruined by hard work, see peculiar beauty in thus identifying the birth of of sickly children, or drunken husbands. It was a the natural sun, with the advent of the Son of Right genuine out-pouring of hearts. An honest son of eousness, which, in an infinitely higher sense, en- the Emerald Isle stood by, rubbing his head, and exlightens and vivifies the nations. The learned argue claimed, « Did my eyes ever see the like o' that ? that Christ was probably born in the spring ; because A jintleman giving cake to folks he don't know, and the Jewish people were at that season enrolled for never asking a bit o' money for the same !" taxation, and this was the business which carried Alas, eighteen centuries ago, that chorus of good Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem :-and because the will was sung, and yet so simple an act of sympashepherds of Syria would not be watching their flocks thizing kindness, astonishes the poor ! in the open air, during the cold months. To these In the course of his Christmas rambles, my friend