« ZurückWeiter »
rounded with a delightful garden, was provided for his resi dence. He partook of all the luxuries of his sovereign's table, was invested with extensive authority, and admitted to the honour of a free intercourse with his gracious master. But Artabanes was insensible of the advantages which he enjoyed ; his heart glow :d not with gratitude and respect; he avoided the society of his benefactor, and abused his bounty. “I detest such a character,' said Alexis, with generous indignation ! · It is your own picture which I have drawn,' replied Euphronius.
The great Potentate of heaven and earth has placed you in a world which displays the highest beauty, order, and magnificence ; and which abounds with every means of convenience, enjoyment, and happiness.
2. He has furnished you with such powers of body and mind, as give you dominion over the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field. He has invited you to hold communion with him, and to exalt your own nature, by the love and imitation of his divine perfections. Yet' have your eyes wandered, with brutal gaze, over the fair creation, unconscious of the Mighty Hand from whom it sprung. You have rioted in the profusion of nature, without suitable emotions of gratitude to the Sovereign Dispenser of all good; and you have too often slighted the glorious converse, and forgotten the presence of that Omnipotent Being, who fills all space, and exists through all eternity.'
The Four Seasons. 1. Who is the beautiful virgin that approaches, clothed in a robe of light green? She has a garland of flowers on her head, and flowers spring up wherever she sets her foot.
The snow which covered the fields, and the ice which was in the rivers, melt away when she breathes upon them. The young lambs frisk about her, and the birds svarble in their little throats, to welcome her coming; and when they see her, they begin to choose tneir mates, and to build their nests. Youths and maidens, have you seen this beautiful virgin ? If you have, tell me who is she, and what is her name.
1. Who is this that comes from the south, thinly clad in a light transparent garment ? Her breath is hot and sultry; she seeks the refreshment of the cool shade ; she seeks the clear streams, the crystal brooks, to bathe her languid limbs. The brooks and rivulets fly from her, and are dried up at her approach. She cools her parched lips with berries, and the grate
ful acid of fruits ; the seedy melon, the sharp apple, and the red pulp of the juicy cherry, which are poured ut plentifully around her. The tanned bay-makers welcome her coming ; and the sheep-shearer, who lips the fleeces of his flock with his sounding shears. When she comes, let me lie under the thick shade of a spreading beach-tree ; let me walk with her in the early morning, when the dew is yet upon the grass ; let me wander with her in the soft twilight, when the shepherd shuts his fold, and the star of evening appears. Who is she that comes from the south ?. Youths and maidens, tell me, if you know, who is she, and what is her name?
1. Who is he that comes with sober pace, stealing upon us unawares ? His garments are red with the blood of the grape, and his temples are bound with a sheaf of ripe wheat. His hair is thin and begins to fall, and the auburn is mixed with mournful gray.
He shakes the brown nuts from the tree. He winds the horn, and calls the hunters to their sport. The gun sounds. The trembling partridge and the beautiful pheasant futter, bleeding in the air, and fall dead at the sportsman's feet. Who is he that is crowned with the wheat sheaf? Youths and mai. dens, tell me, if you know, who is he, and what is his name?
1. Who is he that comes from the north, clothed in furs and warm wool ? He wraps his cloak close about him ; his head is bald ; his beard is made of sharp icicles. He loves the blazing fire, high piled upon the hearth. He binds skates to his feet, and skims over the frozen lakes. His breath is piercing and cold, and no little flower dares to peep above the surface of the ground, when he is by. Whatever he touches turns to ice. If he were to strike you with his cold hand, you would be quite still and dead, like a piece of marble. Youths and maidens, do you see him ? He is copiilg fast upon us, and soon he will be here. Tell me, if you know, who is he, and what is his name?
Charity. Happy is the man who has sown in his breast the seeds of charity and love! From the fountain of his heart rise rivers of goodness ; and the streams overtlow for the benefit of mankind. He assists the poor in their trouble ; he rejoices in promoting the welfare of all men. He does not harshly censure his neighbour; he believes not the tales of envy and malevolence, nor repeats their slanders. He forgives the injuries of men he wipes them from his remembrance : revenge and malice
have no place in his heart. For evil he returns not evil; he hates not even his enemies ; but requites their injustice with friendly admonition. The griefs and anxieties of men excite his compassion : he endeavours to alleviate the weight of their misfortunes ; and the pleasure of success rewards his labour. He calms the fury, he heals the quarrels of angry men ; and prevents the mischiefs of strife and animosity. He promotes in his neighbourhood peace and good will; and his name is repeated with praise and benedictions.
Health. 1. Who is she that with graceful steps, and with a lively air, trips over yonder plain?
2. The rose blushes on her cheeks; the sweetness of the morning breathes from her lips ; joy, tempered with innocence and modesty, sparkles in her eyes; and the cheerfulness of her heart appears in all her movements. Her name is Health ; sh is the daughter of exercise and temperance. Their sons inhabit the mountains and the plain. They are brave, active, and lively, and partake of all the beauties and virtues of their sister. Vigour strings their perves, strength dwells in their bones, and Tabour is their delight all the day long. The employments of their father excite their appetites; and the repasts of their mother refresh them. To combat the passions, is their delight; to conquer evil habits, their glory. Their pleasures are moderate, and therefore they endure; their repose is short, but sound and undisturbed. Their blood is pure; their minds are serene; and he physician does not find the way to their habitations.
Gratitude. 1. As the branches of a tree return their sap to the root from whence it arose ; as a river pours its streams to the sea, whence its spring was supplied ; so the heart fa grateful man delights ic returning a benefit received. He ackni edges his obligation with cheerfulness; he looks on his beneta and esteem. And if to return a favour be not in his prith love
he cherishes the remembrance of it through life.
2. The hand of the generous man is like the clouds of heaven which drop upon the earth, fruits, herbage, and Powers: but the heart of the ungrateful is like a desert of sand, which swallows with greediness the showers that fall, buries them in its bosom, and produces nothing.
3. The grateful mind envies not its benefactor, nor strives 19 conceal the benefit he has conferred. Though to oblige is
better than to be obliged ; though the act of generosity commands admiration ; yet the humility of gratitude touches the heart, and is amiable in the sight both of God and man.
Mortality. 1. CHILD of mortality, whence comest thou ? why is thy countenance sad, and why are thine eyes red with weeping ? I have seen the rose in its beauty ; it spread its leaves to the morning
I returned : it was dying upon its stalk ; the grace of the form of it was gone ; its loveliness was vanished away ; its leaves were scattered on the ground, and no one gathered them again.
2. A stately tree grew on the plain ; its branches were covered with verdure; its boughs spread wide and made a goodly shadow ;
the trunk was like a strong pillar ; the roots were like crooked fangs. I returned ; the verdure was nipped by the east wind ; the branches were lopped away by the axe ; the worm had made its way into the trunk, and the heart thereof was decayed; it mouldered away, and fell to the ground.
3. I have seen the insects sporting in the sunshine, and darting along the streams ; their wings glittered with gold and purple; their bodies shone like the green emerald ; they were more numerous than I could count: their motions were quicker than my eye could glance. I returned : they were brushed into the pool ; they were perishing with the evening breeze ; the swallow had devoured them; the pike had seized them ; there were none found of so great a multitude.
4. I have seen man in the pride of his strength; his cheeks glowed with beauty ; his limbs were full of activity ; he leaped; he walked ; he ran; he rejoiced in that he was more excellent than those. I returned : he lay stiff and cold on the bare ground; his feet could no longer move, nor his hands stretch themselves out; his life was departed from him ; and the breath out of his nostrils. Therefore do I weep, because death is in the world ; the spoiler is among the works of God: all that is made, must be destroyed; all that is born, must die ; let me alone, for I will weep yet longer.
Immortality. 1. I HAVE seen the flower withering on the stalk, and its bright leaves spread on the ground. I looked again : it sprung forth afresh ; its stem was crowned with new buds, and its sweetness filled the air.
2. I have seen the sun set in the west, and the shades of night shut in the wide horizon ; there was no colour, nor shape, nor
beauty, nor music ; gloom and darkness brooded around. I looked: the sun broke forth again from the east, and gilded the mountain tops; the lark rose to meet him from her low nest, and the shades of darkness fled away.
3. I have seen the insect, being come to its full size, languish, and refuse to eat : it spun itself a mb, and was shroud. ed in the silken cone ; it lay without feet, or shape, or power to move. I looked again : it had burst its tomb; it was full of life, and sailed on coloured wings through the soft air; it rejoiced in its new being.
4. Thus shall it be with thee, O man ; and so shall thy life be renewed. Beauty shall spring up out of ashes, and life out of the dust. A little while shalt thou lie in the ground, as the seed lies in the bosom of the earth ; but thou shalt be raised again ; and thou shalt never die any more.
5. Who is he that comes to burst open the prison doors of the tomb; to bid the dead awake ; and to gather his redeemed from the four winds of heaven? He descends on a fiery cloud; the sound of a trumpet goes before him ; thousands of angels are on his right hand. It is Jesus, the Son of God; the Saviour of men ; the Friend of the good. He comes in the glory of his Father; he has received power from on high.
6. Mourn not, therefore, child of immortality! For the spoiler, the cruel spoiler, that laid waste the works of God, is subdued. Jesus has conquered death; child of immortality, mourn no longer.
Heaven. 1. The rose is sweet, but it is surrounded with thorns; the lily of the valley is fragrant, but it springs up amongst the brambles. The spring is pleasant, but it is soon past: the summer is bright, but the winter destroys its beauty. The rainbow is very glorious, but it soon vanishes away : life is good, but it is quickly swallowed up in death.
2. There is a land, where the roses are without thorns ; where the flowers are not mixed with brambles. In that land there is eternal spring, and light without any cloud. The tree of life grows in the midst thereof; rivers of pleasure are there, and flowers that never fade. Myriads of happy spirits are there, and surround the throne of God with a perpetual hymn, The angels with their golden harps sing praises continually, and the cherubims dy on wings of fire! This country is Heaven: it is the country of those that are good ; and nothing that is ....wicked must inhabit there. The toad must not spit its venom