Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

painful surmises which may possi- the bosom of its God, or banished bly be realized, but the proba- for ever from the glory of his bility is far otherwise. I see you presence. in full health, surrounded with But there are circumstances your tender charge, receiving the whick render death still more congratulations and good wishes awful, and many of them would of our friends, while I am strug-conspire in my case, were it to gling with the aggravation of my please my Father in heaven to disease, and, at times, almost remove me before I return. For sinking under apprehension that, a long time his hand has been all efforts for recovery are vain. heavy upon me. Apparently at

This impression has produced the season of my greatest usefulmoments of gloom, in which the ness he laid me aside from official whole train of my reflections have work. When it had become most proved the strength of my at- pleasant I was rendered incapable tachment to this world, and the of performing it. During much weakness of my faith.

of the time since I was taken I There is something awful in have been a wanderer in pursuit death, come in what form it may, of health. When the original at which nature on the first full disease seemed to be greatly alview must shudder. It closes our layed, another which I had equaleyes on all earthly objects, and ly dreaded has prevented or proit tears from the heart those longed the cure. When I subties which have strengthened with mitted to the privations of this every throb. It finishes our pre- voyage, the hope of recovery was paratory state ; our sensations, sanguine. How soon did it change both of pleasure and of pain, to despondency! How painful the

Our mode of subsistence reflections which have occurred is entirely changed ; neither vi- at such moments. sion, nor the other senses, convey Have I left my country which any longer their report to the I love, my friends whose kindsoul. I know that it lives, but ness has so greatly endeared having no conception of its ex- them to me; my family that inistence without the body, the volves all the charms, comforts, very ignorance of the mode pro- and tender sympathies of home, duces perplexity and pain.

All to die on the ocean! Shall I neits former avenues to external ver again dandle that sweet little impressions are locked up. This cherub, whose smile has solaced frame becomes lifeless, and de- maoy a weary hour of confineformed, and loathsome. We must ment. Is the hapless babe to be say to corruption, Thou art my orphaned, too young to know the father, and to the worm, Thou art father who took such delight in my mother and my sister. The him. At the period of life when places which have known us shall they most need his guidance and know us no more ; a new and his care, must the rest be deuntried, an eternal world opens prived of it. Must myupon the soul, and in that dread- who knows so little of the wiles ful hour, Oh how frequent and of the world, be left to struggle how full of anguish is the doubt alone with its wants and its sorwhetber it will be conveyed to row? When she is cherishing the

cease.

hope of my recovery and final seeing as I do the depravity ofroy return, inust I be stretched on heart, the transgressions and dethis restless tossing bed of death?fects of my life, while out of hell, none to speak the consolations of I shall ever have cause for this the Gospel, none but strangers conviction. But I have other to perform the last kind offices; reasons to be satisfied. Unwortby none of those tender attentions as I feel myself to be, the Gospel wbich softened the anguish of of Jesus has presented, and the that painful hour,--no friend to Spiritof Jesus has inspired a bope, close from view these eyes when a hope of pardon, of reconciliaghastly in death! I imagine that I tion, of adoption, of eternal life, of already see them convey this growing deliverance from sin, wasted form from the narrow bed, and complete victory over death; on which it was lately tossed with a hope that maketh not ashamed dying agony, to the quarter deck : when I aspire to call God my instead of a winding sheet it is Father, Jesus my Saviour, the sewed up in a canvass sack, and Spirit my Comforter. A hope, hidden from view; laid upon a which neither afflictions nor tempplank, it is conveyed to the side ; tations can shake when the love the ship bell tolls a funeral knell ; of God is shed abroad in the all is solemnity, mingled in some heart. with tender sympathy. The fatal Since my sickness commenced nioment has arrived; the weight I have bad more of this hope, that is to sink it deep in the abyss, and can I murmur? In all his is attached to the body, and at the late dealings with me, I have seen word of command, which the more than ever of his goodness heart for a time had refused ut- and his faithfulness. Is it not terance, it is launched into the then good to be afflicted ? I may waves. A tear started from the sometimes feel impatient, and eyes of his cabin companions, for wonder where the scene will they seemed to love him, and end; but he knows my frame, he even the rough sailor, as he turn- knows that I am but dust, and will ed from the scene wiped his not lay upon me more than I can cheek, and cried, God rest the bear. What I have born is light soul of the man who so kindly in comparison with what Jesus talked to us of the harbour where has born for me. Light too, comthe wicked cease from troubling, pared with the exceeding great, and the weary be at rest. But and eternal weight of glory which here let me cease to utter what he has purchased for me.

When have been transient thoughts in arrived at this glory how soon those moments of deep gloom, will the thorns of the passage be which cloud or conceal the ob- forgotten, how completely the jects of faith. Even while such wounds all bealed, and the tears of thoughts have shot through my the valley all wiped away. How mind, I have never yet been per- little difference will it make mitted to complain. I have never whether the last earthly stroggle been tempted to think hard of my took place at home or abroad, lot. I have never for a moment among strangers or friends ? Hav. lost the conviction that it has ing comunitted all things into his been better than my desert, and hand then; here am I, let him do

unto me as seemeth good unto him. Ime to sing, “O death, where is If restored, let me more than thy sting? O grave, where is thy ever show forth his praisemif victory?1 Cor. xv. 55. removed, he will, I trust, help

(To be continued.)

REVIEW.

Letters, during a Tour through bit a picture of moral degradation,

some parts of France, Savoy, particularly in France, enough to Switzerland, Germany, and the sicken the heart, and to cast a Netherlands, in the summer of deep and deadly shade over all 1817. By THOMAS RAFFLES, the glory she may have acquired A. M.-New-York, reprinted. in arts, and arms, and science.

We will not detain our readers THE author of these Letters is at present with any additional realready extensively known to the marks of our own : our object is Christian community, as the bio- not so much to criticize the work, grapher and successor of the ami- as to present some interesting exable and accomplished Spencer : tracts on the subjects just menand, in his native country, enjoys tioned. no inconsiderable reputation for

On the character of the Parisians. talents and pulpit eloquence. He now appears before us in a new in Paris. You will hardly find a com

“ There is nothing like domestic life character ; aud has presented us fortable family circle there. Marwith a book of travels, which, if riages are, for the most part, contracts it be not so learned or profound formed for convenience, and not for as some that we have read, is love. From such connexions, what

can be expected but alienation and disnevertheless interesting and in

tance-infidelity and adultery.-Acstructive. Independent of the cordingly, I am informed, it is no unrecommendation of a flowing common thing in Paris, for a married style and animated description, woman to have what is called her which characterize it throughout, L'ami de maison, who visits her as often there is another consideration from the lady's lawful husband-to

as he pleases, without any interruption wbich adds additional value to the whom the boudoir of his mistresg is work : (and we confess this is the always sacred and who is so necessary only one which has induced us to an evil in the house, a thing so genenotice it, we mean the sketches rally tolerated, that, in many cases, he which it contains of the state of of the establishment. The lady, of

actually bears his part in the expenses religion and morals, in the coun- course, allows her husband the liberty tries through which our author she takes, and he is sent abroad to find travelled. All we have to la- a similar post of honour in some other ment is, that they are not

house, to that which he suffers the benumerous and detailed. Limited From such a state of things, therefore,

loved of his wife to occupy in his own. as they are, however, they exhi- 'every shadow of domestic intercourse VOL. II....No. 9.

26

[ocr errors]

ore

and association is excluded. A family, nized as vice, and shunned and abbortable is seldom spread ; a family circle red by virtue. It keeps its own form, is seldom gathered. They repair to uses its own language, and preserves the restaurateurs to dine, to the cafès its own limits. But here, vice has the for coffee, and to the theatre, or even language and the forms of virtue; walks worse resorts, for the evening's occupa- hand in hand with virtue ; is adorned tion and amusement. Thus they live with the same attire ; admitted into the in public, eat and drink in public, and same society; occupies the same seat; one might almost imagine, from their and, I had almost said, reposes on the fondness for publicity, that they would same couch. She is to be found in the sleep in public or never sleep at all. shop of the respectable tradesman, in Pleasure, exhibition, and intrigue, forms that in London would be shroudgeem to be the great ends of their ex-ed with the greatest secrecy; or, if disistence. To the nobler pursuits and covered, brand the vender with deoccupations, that become a rational, served infamy; but here, the softer accountable, and immortal creature, sex becomes the ministers of lust, by they seem utterly lost.-With the be-exposing them to such as choose to puring of a God, or a future state, there chase, and that too with unblushing is nothing, above ground, in Paris, that countenance, as if they were the simhas the remotest connexion, except, in- plest articles of lawful commerce; the deed, the churches, which are the fine arts have lent their aid to decorate haunts of the deadliest superstition, and and adorn the monster, and to give a consecrated to the pom pous worship of soft and classic air to her most disgustthe image of the beast. From the clas- ing expressions, while the brilliant gesic air of the public edifices, and the nius, and the exuberant imagination of mingled superstition and impurity of the author, have invested it as with the people, one might almost fancy dazzling gems and a gorgeous robe. one's self in ancient Athens, surrounded “ But all these considerations apart: by a thousand temples and a thousand it is enough for a man that has any altars, consecrated to the deities of lust principle of religion, or integrity, or and pleasure; and a population, the humanity within him, to walk the fundamental maxim of whose practical, streets of Paris, and reflect that he is if not avowed, atheism, is ever present passing through the city, in which, a to their mind, and ever operative io little more than a quarter of a century their conduct, -Let us eat and drink, ago, the oracles of God were publicly for to-morrow we die !

disowned, the Christian Sabbath utter“But I have been almost unconly abolished, reason elevated to the sciously led to the same disgusting topic, throne of the Supreme, and liberty deupon which, I fear, I have already clared to be the only God; that he is dwelt too long in a former letter. To surrounded by a people, who, after a superficial observer, perhaps, one having imbrued their hands in the who merely contemplates the city of blood of their lawful prince, and filled Paris, through the medium of its works their capital with enormities, at the reof arts, or scenes of gayety and amuse-cital of which the whole civilized world ment, the pictures I have drawn may shuddered with a thrilling horror, while seem too strongly marked and deeply all was consecrated by the sacred name coloured; but it can be so regarded of liberty and freedom; at length only by a superficial observer. For placed the crown they had dashed to my own part, my heart sickens at the the earth upon an upstart's brow, and review of what I have written, when I fell prostrate, in all the abjectness of think how far beneath the reality any submission, to lick the dust beneath the description, of which my pen is capable, despot's feet; a people that followed at must be. The circumstance, that the his beck through seas of blood, intoxigrosser forms of vice are wanting in the cated with spoil and glutted with gore, public haunts, mark, if possible, a deep- while they yielded to him as to their er dereliction of principle, and renders destiny, and plighted their homage to the scene more dangerous. In our own him as th god, till the great Ruler metropolis, alas! there is enough of of the nations was pleased to reverse vice, and crimes are perpetrated of the his fortune, and who then, with one

But then, vice is recog- consent, abandoned him to his fate

deepest die.

3

piety !!!

an exile on the ocean, and the shadow passions than which there can be
of a king; a people too, who could re-found none more directly hostile
peat their servility and their treachery to the humbling doctrines of
when his fortunes brightened once
again, and again grew dark-and who Christianity. This is one prin-
are now sunk in the arms of a super-ciple that lies at the bottom of this
stition and a sensuality as deep, as phenomenon. It is not, however,
deadly, and as gross, as that from sufficient of itself to explain the
whose embrace they rushed to the whole satisfactorily. It merely
wild extremes of anarchy, and the cold
breast of atheism-] say, these reflec-accounts for indifference with re-
tions are enough to quicken the foot- gard to morals and religion. Now
steps of a man who has the fear of God it is possible for this indifference
or the principles of humanity within to exist, without that constant and
him, lest the earth should open, and
swallow up a city which has been the unblushing violation of every
theatre of such enormities, and is still rule of morality which disgraces
the haunt of such pollution and im- the French character: an addi-

tional cause must therefore be

sought for; and this, we think, is What a contrast does all this to be found in the taste of the afford to the condition of Paris French with regard to literature in other respects ;-rich in the and the arts. There is a period noblest efforts of genius and indus- in the history of every nation's try; decorated with the accumu- refinement, when the elegant lated treasures of the universe ; and the brilliant predominate glorying in the splendour of her over the useful and the solid. At monuments, ber palaces, and her this point the French have arinstitutions,—she still presents a rived, and the consequence is, inoral waste, as cheerless as the that the imagination maintains an deserts of Africa. It is an inter- influence which completely holds esting subject of investigation to in subjection the reason and the inquire the cause, why a nation judgment. This preponderance of such high mental cultivation as of the imagination is evinced in the French certainly are, should every exhibition of the French nevertheless be so completely character: in their attachment to barren of moral excellence. As painting, sculpture, and all those it is not our intention to enter at arts which make a direct appeal large upon this inquiry, we shall to the fancy. Besides this, it apbe satisfied with throwing out pears also in the character of their one or two ideas wbich may serve literature, which is unquestionto solve the problem. In the first ably more distinguished by its place, we believe that there is gayety and ornament, than by prosomething in the very nature of foundness of thought or extent of great intellectual acquisitions research. Such being the fact, which readers the mind indiffer- it is easy to conceive what the ent to the contemplation of reli- effects of such an ungoverned gious truth. This is effected, at license, given to the imagination, first, by their so completely ab- must be upon the moral habits of sorbing the attention, as to leave a people. Having no virtuous little time, and less iaclination, object on which to exert its powfor other pursuits ; and then, by ers, it spends all its ingenuity and fostering pride and ambition, two exuberaoce in diversifying the

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »