Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

The one taught me, that this mighty globe, with the whole burden of its people and of its countries, is but a grain of sand on the high field of immensity-the other teaches me, that every grain of sand may harbour within it the tribes and the families of a busy population. The one told me of the insignificance of the world I tread upon-the other redeems it from all its insignificance; for it tells me that in the leaves of every forest, and in the flowers of every garden, and in the waters of every rivulet, there are worlds teeming with life, and numberless as are the glories of the firmament. The one has suggested to me, that beyond and above all that is visible to man, there may lie fields of creation which sweep immeasurably along, and carry the impress of the Almighty's hand to the remotest scenes of the universe-the other suggests to me, that within and beneath all that minuteness which the aided eye of man has been able to explore, there may lie a region of invisibles; and that, could we draw aside the mysterious curtain which shrouds it from our senses, we might there see a theatre of as many wonders as astronomy has unfolded, a universe within the compass of a point so small, as to elude all the powers of the microscope, but where the wonder-working God finds room for the exercise of all His attributes, where He can raise another mechanism of worlds, and fill and animate them all with the evidences of His glory.

the

Now, mark how all this may be made to meet the argument of our infidel astronomers. By the telescope, they have discovered that no magnitude, however vast, is beyond grasp of the Divinity; but by the microscope, we have also discovered, that no minuteness, however shrunk from the notice of the human eye, is beneath the condescension of His regard. Every addition to the powers of the one instrument extends the limit of His visible dominions; but, by every addition to the powers of the other instrument, we see each part of them more crowded than before with the wonders of His unwearying hand. The one is constantly widening the circle of His territory-the other is as constantly filling up its separate portions with all that is rich, and various, and exquisite. In a word, by the one I am told that the Almighty is now at work in regions more distant than geometry has ever measured, and among worlds more manifold than numbers have ever reached; but, by the other, I am also told, that with a mind to comprehend

the whole, in the vast compass of its generality, He has also a mind to concentrate a close and a separate attention on each and on all of its particulars; and that the same God, who sends forth an upholding influence among the orbs and the movements of astronomy, can fill the recesses of every single atom with the intimacy of his presence, and travel, in all the greatness of His unimpaired attributes, upon every one spot and corner of the universe He has formed.

They, therefore, who think that God will not put forth such a power, and such a goodness, and such a condescension, in behalf of this world, as are ascribed to Him in the New Testament, because He has so many other worlds to attend to, think of Him as a man. They confine their view to the informations of the telescope, and forget altogether the informations of the other instrument. They only find room in their minds for His one attribute of a large and general superintendence; and keep out of their remembrance the equally impressive proofs we have for His other attribute, of a minute and multiplied attention to all that diversity of operations, where it is He that worketh all in all. And when I think, that as one of the instruments of philosophy has heightened our every impression of the first of these attributes, so another instrument has no less heightened our impression of the second of them-then I can no longer resist the conclusion, that it would be a transgression of sound argument, as well as a daring of impiety, to draw a limit around the doings of this unsearchable God-and, should a professed revelation from heaven tell me of an act of condescension, in behalf of some separate world, so wonderful, that angels desired to look into it, and the Eternal Son had to move from His seat of glory to carry it into accomplishment, all I ask is the evidence of such a revelation; for, let it tell me as much as it may of God letting himself down for the benefit of one single province of His dominions, this is no more than what I see lying scattered, in numberless examples, before me; and running through the whole line of my recollections; and meeting me in every walk of observation to which I can betake myself; and, now that the microscope has unveiled the wonders of another region, I see strewed around me, with a profusion which baffles my every attempt to comprehend it, the evidence that there is no one portion of the universe of God too minute for His notice, nor too humble for the visitations of His care.-DR CHALMERS.

THE RUINED COTTAGE

None will dwell in that cottage, for they say
Oppression reft it from the honest man,
And that a curse clings to it; hence the vine
Trails its weight of leaves upon the ground,
Hence weeds are in that garden, hence the hedge,
Once sweet with honeysuckle, is half dead,
And hence the grey moss on the apple tree.

One once dwelt there, who had been in his youth
A soldier; and when many years had pass'd,
He sought his native village, and sat down
To end his days in peace. He had one child,
A little laughing thing, whose large dark eyes,
He said, were like the mother's she had left
Buried in strangers' land: and time went on
In comfort and content-and that fair girl
Had grown far taller than the red rose tree
Her father planted on her first English birthday.
And he had trained it up against an ash
Till it became his pride-it was so rich
In blossom and in beauty, it was called
The tree of Isabel. 'Twas an appeal
To all the better feelings of the heart
To mark their quiet happiness; their home
In truth a home of love; and more than all,
To see them on the Sabbath, when they came
Among the first to church, and Isabel,
With her bright colour, and her clear glad eyes,
Bowed down so meekly in the house of prayer;
And in the hymn her sweet voice audible:
Her father looked so fond of her, and then
From her looked up so thankfully to heaven!
And their small cottage was so very neat;

Their garden filled with fruits, and herbs, and flowers;
And in the winter, there was no fireside
So cheerful as their own. But other days
And other fortunes came-an evil power.
They bore against it cheerfully, and hoped
For better times, but ruin came at last;
And the old soldier left his own dear home,

And left it for a prison: 'twas in June,
One of June's brightest days-the bee, the bird,
The butterfly, were on their lightest wing;
The fruits had their first tinge of summer light;
The sunny sky, the very leaves seemed glad,
And the old man looked back upon his cottage,
And wept aloud:—they hurried him away,
And the dear child that would not leave his side.
They led him from the sight of the blue heaven
And the green trees, into a low, dark cell,
The windows shutting out the blessed sun,
With iron grating; and for the first time
He threw him on his bed, and could not hear
His Isabel's good night. But the next morn
She was the earliest at the prison gate,

The last on whom it closed, and her sweet voice,
And sweeter smile, made him forget to pine.
She brought him every morning fresh wild flowers;
But every morning could he mark her cheek
Grow paler and more pale, and her low tones
Get fainter and more faint, and a cold dew
Was on the hand he held. One day he saw
The sunshine through the gratings of his cell,
Yet Isabel came not; at every sound

His heart-beat took away his breath, yet still
She came not near him. But on one sad day
He marked the dull street, through the iron bars,
That shut him from the world; at length he saw
A coffin carried carelessly along,

And he grew desperate; he forced the bars;
And he stood on the street free and alone.
He had no aim, no wish for liberty-

He only felt one want, to see the corpse

That had no mourners; when they set it down,
Ere 'twas lowered into the new dug grave,

A rush of passion came upon his soul.

And he tore off the lid, and

Of Isabel, and knew he b

He lay down by the

His heart was broke

[graphic]

THE BATTLE OF HOHENLINDEN.

On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser rolling rapidly:

But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery!

By torch and trumpet fast array'd,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh'd,
To join the dreadful revelry;

Then shook the hills with thunder riven !
Then rush'd the steed to battle driven !
And louder than the bolts of heaven,
Far flash'd the red artillery!

But redder yet those fires shall glow
On Linden's hills of stained snow;
And bloodier yet the torrent flow
Of Iser rolling rapidly!

"Tis morn-but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-cloud rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun

Shout in their sulphurous canopy !

The combat deepens-on, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,
And charge with all thy chivalry!

Few, few shall part where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet;
And every turf beneath their feet

Shall mark a soldier's sepulchre !-CAMPBELL.

« PředchozíPokračovat »