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rior, but the leader whom he chooses to conduct him to the gratification of his private or national animosities; and his wildest desires are indulged without the slightest regard to any future consequence, or to any feelings or interests but his own. His enjoyments, therefore, are entirely selfish ; and gloomy as they are contracted, they spring merely from the gratification of the most ferocious passions, or the most grovelling appetites. Even his religion tends only to debase his nature, and to increase his wretchedness. His devotion is a feeling of terror; and the whole system of his superstition is a fabric reared by his vices, which it serves, of course, to fortify and confirm. Ascribing to his gods his own passions and partialities, he hears in the thunder and the hurricane only the voice of their wrath, which he is led to appease by some dreadful expiation, or by some deed of feller vengeance against their enemies and his own. He may hope for immortality; for who ever left the precincts of this world without casting forward an anxious look to another ? But the scenes which he pictures to himself beyond the limits of time, derive all their colour ing from his own dark imagination; and the expectation of a heaven, not of tranquil benignity, but of insulting triumph over vanquished foes, inflames to greater violence the malignant passions which rankle in his breast.
Can a nature thus selfish, thus fiend-like, thus wretched, be transformed by any culture into the likeness of man, as we contemplate him in the more enlightened and happier regions of the world ? Do the men whom we see united in regular communities, directed by the same government, submitting to the same laws, and, even in the pursuit of their private interest, co-operating towards the general good, bear any affinity to the lawless and untracta-. ble native of the wilderness? Are the benevolent schemes, which embrace in their object the happiness of millions, conceived by minds akin to those, whose ingenuity was never exercised but in plans of murder and devastation? Is the heart which knows no aim superior to the gratification of the lowest appetites, and the most 'odious passions,—which invests in its own grossness even the powers of heaven, whom it fancies the abettors of its lust and malignity-of a common descent, and of a kindred nature, with his, who, spurning each low and sordid object, “ exalts his generous aim to all diviner deeds,”—who, glowing with the inspiration of celestial love, beholds in all creatures the objects of the Creator's paternal regard, and rejoices in co-operating with the divine beneficence ? Can the earthbound soul, which scarcely darts a glance beyond the tomb, or which, through the mist of sensuality, seems to descry a country, where the unhallowed desires by which it is now agitated shall riot in full enjoyment,-claim alliance with the heaven-born, heaven-aspiring spirit, whose thoughts, wandering through eternity, rejoice in the anticipation of its
escape from the encumbrance of mortality, and of its perpetual progress in excellence and felicity?
Yes ! these natures, opposite as they appear, are formed originally after the same image. It is to education alone that the civilized and enlightened man owes all his superiority. It is education which, raising him above the degrading dominion of sense, teaches him to respect the voice of reason, and to follow her as the guide of his conduct. It is education which reminds him of the necessity of subordination in regular communities; and which, convincing him how much the happiness of the individual is promoted and secured by submission to government and laws, expands even his selfish feelings into loyalty and patriotism. It is education which, leading him to reflect on the ties that unite him with friends, with kindred, and with the great family of mankind, makes his bosom glow with social tenderness, confirms the emotions of sympathy into habitual benevolence, imparts to him the elating delight of rejoicing with those who rejoice, and, if his means are not always adequate to the suggestions of his charity, soothes him, at least, with the melancholy pleasure of weeping with those who weep: in a word, which renders even his self-love only a modification of generosity, and enables him to gather his purest bliss from seeing others blest. It is education which, elevating his thoughts habitually to his Creator, gives constancy to his virtues amidst all the trials of life, and serenity to his mind amidst all its evils; which leads him to repose on the wisdom, the goodness, and the omnipotence of the Lord of the universe; and carries forward his views to the regions of immortality, where the apparent confusion and intricacy of the ways of Providence shall be unravelled into the most perfect order; and the toils, and struggles, and sufferings of persevering goodness, shall be rewarded with an eternity of unalloyed enjoyment.
PATHETIC, MORAL, AND RELIGIOUS
COMPOSURE OF MIND AMID PREMATURE DECAY.
BRUCE'S ELEGY TO SPRING.
“ Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest."-Gray.
Nothing has a greater tendency to elevate and affect the heart, than the reflection upon those personages who have performed a distinguished part on the theatre of life, whose actions were attended with important consequences to the world around them, or whose writings have animated or instructed mankind. The thought that they are now no more, that their ashes are mingled with those of the meanest and most worthless, affords a subject of contemplation, which, however melancholy, the mind, in a moment of pensiveness, may feel a secret sort of delight to indulge in. “ Tell her,” says Hamlet, “ that she may paint an inch thick; yet to this she must come at last.”