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PEACE AND WAR.
drinks the fragrant herb of China; the peasant's child wears the web of Hindostan.
The lame, the blind, and the aged, repose in hespitals; the rich, softened by prosperity, pity the poor; the poor, disciplined into order, respect the rich.
Justice is dispensed to all. Law sits steady on her throne, and the sword is her servant.
They have rushed through like a hurricane: like an army of locusts they have devoured the earth; the war has fallen like a water-spout, and deluged the land with blood.
The smoke rises not through the trees, for the honours of the grove are fallen; and the hearth of the cottager is cold: but it rises from villages burned with fire, and from warm ruins, spread over the now naked plain.
The ear is filled with confused bellowing of oxen, and sad bleating of over-driven sheep: they are swept from their peaceful plains; with shouting and goading are they driven away; the peasant folds his arms, and resigns his faithful fellow-labourers.
The farmer weeps over his barns consumed by fire, and his demolished roof, and anticipates the driving of the winter snows.
On that rising ground, where the green turf looks black with fire, yesterday stocd a noble mansion; the owner had said in his heart, Here will I spend the evening of my days, and enjoy the fruit of my years of toil: my name shall descend with mine inherit
PEACE AND WAR.
ance, and my children's children shall sport under the trees which I have planted. The fruit of his years
of toil is swept away in a moment; wasted, not enjoyed; and the evening of his days is left desolate.
The temples are profaned: the soldier's curse resounds in the house of God: the marble pavement is trampled by iron hoofs: horses neigh beside the altar.
Law and order are forgotten: violence and rapine are abroad: the golden cords of society are loosed.
Here are the shriek of woe and the cry of anguish; and there is suppressed indignation, bursting the heart with silent despair.
The groans of the wounded are in the hospitals, and by the road-side, and in every thicket; and the housewife's web, whiter than snow, is scarcely sufficient to staunch the blood of her husband and children. Look at that youth, the first-born of her strength : yesterday he bounded as the rce-buck; was glowing as the summer fruits; active in sports, strong to labour: he has passed in one month from youth to age: his comeliness is departed; lielplessness is his portion, for the days of future years. He is more decrepit than his grandsire, on whose head are the snows of eighty winters; but those were the snows of nature: this is the desolation of man.
No one careth for another; every one, hardened by misery, careth for himself alone.
Lo! these are what God has set before thee: child of reason! son of woman! unto which does thine heart incline ?
BORN, 1754; DIED, 1832. Principal Works.—The Library, The Village, The Parish Register,
The Borough, Tales of the Hall.
THE MOTHER'S FUNERAL.
The elder sister strove her pangs to hide,
Curious and sad, upon the fresh-dug hill,
Arriv'd at home, how then they gaz'd around,
IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION.
I'r is necessary that in espousing the cause of reli gion, persons should have a correct idea of the principles it inculcates, as on this head many have been, and are grossly misinformed. To true religion there belongs no sullen gloom, no melancholy austerity which tends to withdraw men from society, or to diminish the exertions of active virtue. Far remote from that illiberal superstition which clouds the brow, sharpens the temper, dejects the spirits, and teaches men to fit themselves for another world by neglecting the concerns of this,-true religion connects our preparation for heaven with an honourable discharge of the duties of active life. In the imagination, it is associated with whatever is lovely and useful; and in practice, it supports, fortifies, and confirms the virtues of purity, truth, and benevolence.
In its nature, religion is rather a matter of the heart than of the intellect. If there is any impression which man is formed by nature to receive more easily than others, it is the impression of religion. As soon as his mind opens to observation, he discerns innumerable marks of his dependent state ; he finds himself placed by some superior power, in a world, where on all sides the wisdom and goodness of the Creator are eminently conspicuous.
The magnificence, the beauty, and the order of
IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION.
nature, excite him to admire and to adore. Can he look up to the omnipotent hand which operates throughout the universe, and not be impressed with reverence? Will he, without being prompted to gratitude, receive blessings which he cannot avoid ascribing to divine goodness?
True religion enjoins the homage of the mind to God, and the devout veneration and worship of him. The general nature of this worship, and its important and interesting articles of faith, are plainly expressed in the Scriptures. On these, therefore, our attention should be principally fixed. Whatever tends to shake our faith on those great points of religion which should serve to regulate our conduct, and on which our hopes of future and eternal happiness depend, should be avoided. We ourselves should never indulge in ridicule on religious subjects, nor should we countenance it in others.
Where religion is neglected, there can be no regular practice of the duties of morality. The character will be inconsistent. The sense of right and wrong, the principle of honour, and the instinct of benevolence, are barriers too feeble to withstand the strength of passion. The heart, agitated by violent emotions, soon discovers that virtue without religion is inadequate to the government of life. It is destitute of its proper guard, of its firmest support, and of its chief encouragement.--Blair.