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tion ; but these are not their legitimate effects on the ingenuous mind. They will, indeed, sober down those aspirations of joy, which, in more prosperous days, may have spontaneously sprung up from an imagined view of kindred feelings, depicted on the smiling countenances of those who smiled because it was popular, or because they themselves were flattered; but whose smiles have ceased with adulation. It is unquestionably the case, that uniform success has a tendency to lead men to overrate their own powers, and attach an importance to the objects of their attainment, which by no means belongs to them. This is an illusion which cannot fail to exert a pernicious influence, because it leads the inind to view objects through a false medium. An illusion, too, which adversity alone can effectually destroy. The influence of adversity in leading the mind to sober and rational views, is, indeed, wonderful. It effectually unmasks the pretended friend, teaches how worthless are those professions of regard which vary with circumstances, and how highly to prize the friend who remains the same through all the changes of fortune. In the school of adversity, alone, can beings like us learn to feel another's woe, or properly appreciate the ordinary blessings of life! Here it is impressively taught, that the distinctions of this transitory scene are of little importance; both because they frequently arise from causes which have little or nothing to do with character, and, in this view, are no proof of excellence; and because men, at the best, are very inadequate judges of some parts of the human character, which the light of eternity will fully disclose. If the salutary effects of adversity do not, in every instance, follow to this extent; yet it cannot be denied, that they usually have a very considerable influence in correcting the views and distroying those false conceptions, which, if suffered to prevail, will, unavoidably, produce erroneous conduct, and prove an effectual bar to those moral attainments which constitute the real glory of man. Happy will it be for those in the morning of life, if disappointment and affliction drive them to God, and induce them to enter into His service with humble ardor.
[For the Monitor.]
Few subjects excite a deeper interest in the pious mind, than revivals of “pure and undefiled religion." While we adore the astonishing riches of that grace which has made provision for the salvation of such miserable beings, we must admire that wonderful display of it, which has, in so many instances, made the 6 lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” But while the Christian is animated, by what he sees and hears of the conversion of sinners, another source of joy arises from a view of its effects on the children of God. Here is exhibited, in a certain degree, a test of the character. of the excitement. In a genuine revival, the children of the covenant will find nearness of access to the mercy seat. If, previously, their unbelief would not suffer them to lay hold of the promises and appropriate them to themselves; they now cry, 6 Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.” If sin, that “ monster of such horrid mien,” had found quiet security in their bosoms, all the feelings of their hearts now prompt them to say, in the exercise of real penitence: Lord, bring out those thine enemies that would not have thee to reign over them, and slay them before us. Every groan they hear the impenitent utter, while bowed down under a sense of guilt, every tear that steals down his cheek, every tremor of his body, reminds them in strong terms, that they themselves are sinners.
Christians can then heartily adopt the language of the pious Psalmist—" How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord.” The closet remains no longer unoccupied. Business is no longer suffered to smother the secret aspirations of the soul, and rob it of its noblest enjoyments. The sorrow and joy of the world is forgotten. The soul, as if conscious of her noble origin, rises and holds communion with the
6. Father of lights, and the God of all grace and consolation.” Nor are these the only effects arising from so powersul a cause. Christians will then emphatically love one another; and take a livelier interest in the spiritual good of those who are “ without God, and without hope in the world.” •All those miserable subterfuges, to which they before had access to palliate their offences and justify their neglect of duty, are now swept away as a “refuge of lies.” It may be called fanaticism; but it is, in fact, the season when Christians act most in character, as rational beings. It is not a sudden ebullition of passion which passes away like “ the morning cloud and early dew;" but that unction from the Holy One, that renewal of strength which enables the child of God “ to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint,” in the way of God's commandments. A new light is shed over the sacred scriptures. Religion now appears in her native loveliness. She sheds a cheerful serenity over the countenance, and qualifies her happy subject to spring forward, with alacrity, to the discharge of every duty.
[For the Monitor.]
It was on the first morning of our vacation that a line reached me from a friend, affectionately inviting me to pass the recess with him, assuring me at the same time, that many circumstances seemed to combine to render a short residence with him and his family more than ordinarily pleasant and desirable.
1 knew, indeed, that the village was delightfully retired, that it afforded every thing that could relax Land amuse the mind, or invigorate the constitution, and what was more essential, that religion and refinement had diffused their appropriate charms over no inconsiderable part of the better classes of society, and all was harmony and peace.
I instantly contracted for a passage, therefore, and as the sun was bedding itself in the western mountains, I was descending into the cheerful village of my friend's residence, and soon found myself seated in one of the coolest (for it was June) and most happily furnished parlors of New England, surrounded by a few modest Misses and respectful Masters, all seizing the first opportunity to put some intelligent question, or announce some interesting event that had transpired since I last saw them.
My acquaintance with the young gentlemen and ladies of the place was renewed and enlarged, and before I left them I had picked up, by piecemeal, the history of several of both sexes from sources of unquestionable authority. Among them there were two yoring ladies that excited an interest of the deepest and most tender character.
They possessed many external embellishments and seemed to have been the polar star in giving direction to the secret magnetism of the fashions and manners and amusements of the day. All vied to shape their course as nearly parallel as possible to the prominent line of conduct which these two were supposed to have marked out and pursued. No party could be projected but they were sure to have the first invitation. The ball-room lost half its brilliancy if they were absent. If any thing extraordinary was to be done they must take the lead, and however arduous the task, it was undertaken with spirit, and its execution always received the encomiums of the candid and generous at least. Indeed, to do them justice, it cannot be denied that they had excellencies of a higher order than mere external accomplishments. They had cultivated many of the social virtues with unusual success. Their understandings were clear, and their taste refined and delicate. They sometimes dwelt with rapture on the beauties of poetry, and were not insensible to the charms of fine writing though tinged with argument and philosophy. And even their moral characters, if we judge them by a mere human standard, setting aside the divine law as
a rule of action and measure of character, were apparently amiable and unblemished.
So many mental charms, set off by such urbanity of manners, could not but render their society attractive and delightful. I spent some pleasant moments with them, I acknowledge, but there was a circumstance, which, on the first glance at their persons, always obtruded itself on my notice, and as often filled me with anguish. They had ruined their health. They had completely broken down their constitutions in the ball-room. The laborious action, which is almost the only employment in a place like this, gives opportunity even for the lesser favourites to become sufficiently wearied before they depart. But these were constantly assailed by the most flattering importunity, and were urged on by the double motive of personal gratification and the desire of giving offence to none. Though frequently fatigued beyond measure, there was no respite till the amusement broke up; and sometimes, to prevent a premature prostration of the whole animal system, cordials in some quantity were resorted to, so that the moment of dispersion was the moment of the beginnings of the most miserable dejection. A thick envelope of night air, plunging into it as they did from a heated chamber and defended only by a drapery of the most delicate texture, must instantly chill every artificial excitement and almost annihilate, for a season at least, every particle of corporeal vivacity. It is easy to see that nothing short of a miraculous interposition could counteract the evils of such imprudence. Accordingly those beautiful frames which once were the striking personifications of sprightliness herself, and which heaven had ordained for the noblest purposes, were rudely wrecked by their own hands and become the habitations not of a pure and peaceful spirit, but of the cruel monsters Pain and Disease. The attacks of these monsters had become so frequent and powerful, that every successive one manifestly penetrated farther and farther into the centre of the citadel, and even now little remained but a living skeleton to totter about a few days more, and fall and shrink, perhaps forever; for they were with