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transgression, it is a dispensation of which there is moral necessity. If men were, in this world, immortal, or held their lives, upon a secure lease, for hundreds of years, in all probability a great proportion of them would extend their transgressions far beyond the present bounds of human depravity. The consciousness of the shortness and brittleness of life, bridles in avarice and ambition. The fear of death is a strong curb upon appetite and passion. Death breaks in pieces gigantic schemes of oppression, delivers the world from unfeeling oppressors, scatters abroad the unrighteous hoards of avaricious worldlings, and is the great humbler of upstart pride and arrogance.
It is, I repeat, the moral condition and conduct of the tenant that mars the beauty and poisons the comforts of the tenement. The promised “new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness,” would be no unhappy world even with the physical form and properties of the one which we inhabit.
Were the heavens above black as sackcloth, or glaring with light of a frightful hue, and were the earth beneath us presenting to our senses nothing but objects of disgust and horror; then indeed the world would correspond with the rueful descriptions which querulous genius has given of it. Then indeed the following lines of poetry would possess no less truth than beauty:
“ For ah! what is there of inferior birth,
Than man more weak, calamitous and blind?" But the truth is, though fallen man is weak, and blind, and sinful, yet his earthly condition, so far from being calamitous beyond that of all other creatures, is attended with a great many circumstances of comfort and delight.
The earth, even in its present state, is filled with the goodness of the beneficieni Creator; and Man is the object of his especial care and bounty. Is it nothing that, above and around us, light and colors, with their corresponding shades, are infinitely diversified, to soothe and gratify the eye? That we are furnished with
such sweet and melodious sounds to charm the ear? That the earth affords such a boundless variety to delight the palate ? That it is decked with the enamel of innumerable flowers of varied colours and delicious fragrance ? That by a nice admixture of the different species of air, the atmosphere is so exactly fitted for respiration? That the silk-worm spins to adorn, the sheep bears a fleece to warm, and the ground itself yields the rudiments of fine linen to array our frail bodies ? That, in all parts of the world, there is furnished a supply of medicaments for the particular diseases of the climate ? That Fire, Air, and Water, along with a great variety of minerals, are made, in so many ways, to minister to the convenience and adornment as well as to the subsistence of our race ?- Is all this aggregate of earthly benefits and blessings to be accounted as nothing ? Shall Man, loaded as he is with so many unmerited temporal blessings, complain and fret because they are mixed with natural evil ? Especially shall he do it, when a full share of the calamities which he suffers are brought upon him, not by the direct hand of Providence, but by his own follies and crimes ?
To love the world more than Him who made it, and life more than him who gave it, is that mammonism which is base and criminal. But a moderate or subordinate love of the world, of life, and of all its innocent enjoyments, along with lively gratitude to the Donor, is what becomes our rational and moral nature. Whereas, on the other hand, to think or speak contemptuously of the common gifts of Providence, betokens as little of humility as of thankfulness,
Of the attenticn due both to mind and body.
To keep the end in view, and follow nature.”
às is common among the savage tribes, would form a singular, but a very desirable character. The wild man of the woods can run as fast as the four-footed animals with which he associates, and sometimes, it is said, runs them down and seizes them as his
A savage who depends upon his bow has not the swiftness of the wild man, yet he can walk seventy or eighty miles a day, and thirty or forty miles at once. One cannot help observing a peculiar dignity and gracefulness, in the gait of our American Indians, particularly the chiefs of their tribes. They go forward with a firm step, their body kept in a straight line, their head erect, and seem to move with as much ease as a boat in a fair wind. Strength, agility, and hardiness of body, together with courage, being with them the highest point of perfection; the whole course of their education has a bearing towards this end. They live in the
air and exercise, and repose themselves alternately, so as to give suppleness to their joints and ease and nimbleness to their motions.
Mr. Bartram, in his account of the Lower Creeks, a tribe of Indians inhabiting East and West Florida, says:—“On one hand, you see among them troops of boys; some shooting with the bow, some enjoying one kind of diversion, and some another; on the other hand are seen bevies of girls, wandering through orangegroves, and over fields and meadows, gathering flowers and berries in their baskets, or lolling under the shades of flowery trees, or chasing one another in sport, and striving to paint each others' faces with the juice of their berries."
These Creeks, I will venture to presume, have resembled considerably the ancient Greeks, about the time that they instituted their celebrated games, consisting in running, wrestling, boxing and other athletic exercises ; which are often alluded to in the writings of St. Paul. In the Heroic, or rather, the Barbarous ages of Greece, that people were little, if any, better informed, or more civilized, than our American Creeks. Their first object, in the education of their children, was, to inspire them with courage, and give them strength, agility, swiftness, and all the other bodily per
fections; that so they might be able to defend their liberties and the independence of their respective tribes. After a while they were smit with the love of learning, and Greece finally became the fountain of literature, and even spread the arts and sciences over Italy ; whence at last they were diffused throughout all Europe. But the Greeks still kept up their games, and all their customary exercises of body; and they are the only people opon history, who have taken much care and pains to make the improvements of body and mind keep an even pace together. Their circumstances were peculiarly favorable to this; since, as to labor,. it was done by their slaves.
Among modern civilized nations, the great inass of the people follow daily labor for a livelihood; and be among these again, the tillers of the ground stand in
the foremost rank. They living in the open air, and using exercises which expand the chest and brace the nerves and muscles, acquire an uncommon degree of Jardiness and vigor of body; yet, by reason of the intensity of their toils, they soon lose that jauntiness of limbs, that ease of motion, that nimbleness of gait, which the savage retains even to old age.-Laborers in the mechanical arts have more or less bodily activity, generally, according to the nature of their occupations. Those trades which require a sedentary life, a seclusion from the air, and a curved posture of body which compresses the lungs, as well as those that expose the artificers to a poisonous effluvia, tend to bring on weakness and disease, and often-times hasten death.
The wealthy part of mankind, whose circumstances | free them froin the necessity of constant toil, might,
one would think, rise superior to others in proportion to their superior advantages. But how rarely is it so in fact? Their luxury and debauchery poison both mind and body; insomuch that where vast possessions are vested unalienably in certain families, as in some parts of Europe, most of those enormously wealthy families, in the course of ages, dwindle down to a race of pigmies, in comparsion with whom the savage holds an enviable rank. The savage state and the state of luxurious refinement, are the two extremnes; between
which, somewhere, there lies a point that is most favorable to the happiness of man, and to the general developement of his faculties.
The learned might have the best chance to unite in themselves bodily and mental excellencies, if prudent care were early begun and constantly continued. If there were used frequent exercise in the open air, both at the commencement and throughout the whole course of a life of study; if study and exercise were alternate, at short intervals, the body would retain its vigorous tone, the inind would be relieved, and the progress of learning be promoted, rather than retarded." But this is often reversed in practice. Observe a scholar that has just left the occupations of agriculture: observe his ruddy countenance and florid health. Observe the same individual two or three years after; see his diin eye, his faded cheek, his emaciated body, the debility of his whole frame !- And what has operated this melancholy change?--Continued mental exercise, without corresponding exercise of the body. He has been a hard student, and has treasured up Greek, and Latin, and Algebra, and Logic; but, for want of frequent intervals of exercise in the open air, the juices of his body have corrupted, like the water in a standing pool.
We are compound beings, consisting of animal and mental parts and faculties. It is a most desirable thing to have 6
a sound mind in a sound body;" and therefore, whilst the principal attention is to be paid to intellectual, moral, and religious improvements, there is no small attention due also to the health, soundness, and agility of the corporeal part of our nature.
And here it may not be amiss to mention that, in time long past, the American youth, even those of fashion and rank, were accustomed to various athletic exercises which have since been exploded by general con
Whether it be owing to that circumstance alone, or to that in conjunction with several others, the youth of the present day, those of the active laboring classes excepted, are far less muscular and robust, and far less capable of strenuous body exertion, than those who were upon the stage of life fifty years ago, when riding was mostly on horseback, and when, by both