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the seasons. They perform their diurnal and annual revolutions, to complete the “signs, and seasons, and days, and years," for which they were appointed. And these too, are pronounced " good." . On the fifth day, the waters at His command who made them, bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life; and the fowl that fly above the earth, in the open tirmament of heaven." The animals now received a command from their Creator, and unlike rebellious man they obey,--accordingly are pronounced " very good.” While the waters and atmosphere are teeming with life.
On the sixth day, are formed the beasts and cattle opon the earth.
No trace of created intelligence is yet to be found. The Deity retires,—the persons of the Trinity consult. 6 Let us make man," is the conclusion—in character holy, “ in our own image," and commit to them the government of this earth and its inhabitants. Man is created in maturity of bodily powers, and of intellect. “ And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good."
(For the Monitor.)
[Concluded.] Having described some of the advantages of Biograph. ical reading, impartiality compels me to say, on the other hand, that it is attended with danger.
This arises chiefly from our disposition to imitate too closely those whom we venerate and love. To initate their excellencies as far as circumstances will allow, is commendable and useful. But we stop not here. We are in danger of doing things for no other reason than because others, whom we esteem good men, have done the same.
But servile imitation produces affectation in manners,
and mistakes in conduct. How many expose themselves to ridicule and contempt, and, at the same time, diminish their usefulness, by attempting to imitate great men of whom they have read! Conduct and practices, which may be right and proper for one man, may be altogether unsuitable for another. Time, station, age, office, relations, and a multitude of other circumstances, may justify, and even require a párticular course of conduct in one man, which it will be neither safe por lawful for another in different circumstances to follow. All those circumstances should be accurately weighed, lest, by servile imitation, we assume what is not oursthat, which belongs to some other time, place, rank, or age. Inattention to this subject may lead to mistakes most pernicious in their consequences. In manners, let a man show himself. In conduct, let him do that which is suitable for a man, whose situation resembles his own.
Hitherto, I have supposed that those things, in which we may imitate others, are right and commendable in them; and that the danger consists in a mistaken judgment on our part by making an unsuitable appropriation. It cannot, however be expected that even good men will be faultless. Although the affectionate par. tiality of biographers may lead them to mistake faults for excellencies, and so represent them; yet sober reason and faithful experience (as well as the Scriptures) teach that no man is without fault. Still we are in great danger of supposing real faults to be excellencies. As such, in imagination, we may admire and imitate them.
Moreover, we are in danger of being led astray, not only by mistaking faults for virtues; but likewise by making a wrong use of the real and acknowledged defects of good men.
If such inen have faults, we may be inclined to excuse or palliate our own. These are good men, and are so esteemed, yet they sometimes err. Such a view, may lead to presumption and self-confidence. Although this feeling is directly the opposite of that, which I have mentioned, when treating another part of the subject; still these different and opposite feelings may exist in different minds, and even in
the same wind at different times. Therefore I apprehend the representation in hoth cases is just.
I have endeavoured to give an impartial, though it may be, incomplete description of the effects produced by the reading of Biography. Its utility is unquestionable. Many of the first men in every department of life, in every age and country, have been guided and stimulated by the example of those, who, though dead, have continued to act and speak for the benefit of others. Poets, orators, statesmen, philosophers, and Christians are all ready to acknowledge the benefit which thev have derived from this source.
(For the Monitor.)
THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM. Sodom and Gomorrah were situated on a beautiful plain in the land of Canaan. In addition to other local advantages, their situation was rendered more bappy and agreeable in consequence of being surrounded by a rich and fertile country. Such was the fertility of the soil and the mildness of the climate, that very little exertion was necessary to supply the exigencies of those times of simplicity. We may suppose, that they not only possessed every facility to acquire a competence, but that wealth and affluence flowing in upon every side, became sources of sensual pleasure. Prosperity, instead of making their hearts glow with gratitude to the giver of all their enjoyments, served but to plunge them deeper and deeper in scenes of dissipation and licentiousness. Confidence in their happy circumstances banished from their minds every idea of an overruling Providence, and rendered them entirely regardless of the injunctions and requisitions of their Maker. Having lost all veneration for the commands of God, the preaching and example of Lot had not the least influence upon
their character. They ridiculed his warnings and entreaties as the dreams of an enthusiastic im
agination. As the good man retired from the devoted city, the sun arose. His predictions, not yet accomplished, are the subject of exultation and merriment to the licentious multitude. The benign influence of a clear atmosphere every where diffuses serenity and gay. ety. But on a sudden a threatening cloud stands over the place. Unusual appearances in the heavens portend something dreadful. The sun is darkened. From every side flames flash towards the city. Surrounding masses of fire rapidly advance and close in upon every quarter. Every where is running, confusion, and terror. --The roaring of the flames, the shrieks of the dying, and loud peals of thunder are lost in one universal conflagration.
At length “ the powerful king of day," having never witnessed a scene so dreadful, sinks beneath the hori. zon and leaves the world to darkness and silence. No sooner does another sun diffuse his rising beams over the thinly scattered, smoking cinders, than the unconscious traveller rises over the hill in sight of the awful place. He starts back--and with a faultering voice exclaims, Sodom is destroyed. Where is now the hum of business—the song of pleasure--and the brilliancy of convivial parties? There stood the mansion of the rich, environed with all the charms and graces of sensual pleasure. Here rose the house of feasting, where every sense is gratified and every brain intoxicated with the joys of Bacchus. But yesterday, these streets rival. led the world in all that is elegant and beautiful. Now, but here and there a smoking vestige remains to tell the traveller where they were. But yesterday, the Sod. omites would have stood against the world---yea, against their Maker. Now their ashes whiten their desolate plain. Such is the destruction of the city, that was full of people : yet all this is but a prologue to that destruction, " when the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” When these souls, but just liberated from their burning clay tabernacles, and now beginning to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, will rise with comparative innocence, and condemn the impenitent of the last days. so We, like you were the votaries of pleasure. We re
jected one preacher; but you rejected thousands. Lot alone preached to us.--Arts, sciences, books-every thing preached to you. We insulted a man; you directly insulted a God. We prayed to idols ; you tempted the true God with mock prayers. Our prayers were the result of ignorance; you knew you were in the presence of the Almighty Sovereign of the universe, and treated him with less sincerity and reverence than you would dare treat a fellow creature. We acted from feeling; you from knowledge. We never saw God's word; you pretended to make it the rule of life; and by living in a Christian land bore the name of Christian; now therefore, after having resisted such light, and sinned against the best of Beings, you are at last reapiog the dreadful consequences.”
[For the Monitor.]
“ The spider's most attenuated thread
Young Is then our happiness held by such an uncertain tedure? The voice of God's truth answers, “ It is;" experience sighs, “ Yes ;” the Philosopher gives assent; The Christian responds, “Even so." But are not our dearest objects exempt ? our loved friends ? Ah, no! If then thus slender is our hold on “ earthly bliss,” why such anxiety about it? Why waste "the golden moments” in pursuii of unsubstantial joys? Why plunge into the keen disappointment of ere long discovering that the objects of our solicitous pursuit have been bubbles? and that these bubbles have broken! We grasp at a shadow; but it eludes the grasp : we chase a phantom; but it flies! It has fled- and left nought behind but the recollection of what it was! Dimly is this remembrance pictured on the mind—the picture is fading --its colors are fleeting—they are gone!