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thou conclude from it ? Dost thou not know, that from the genial beat, which gives life to plants and animals, and ripens the fruits of the earth, proceeds this electrical fire, which, ascending to the clouds, and charging them deyond what they are able to contain, is launched again in burning bolts to the earth ? Must it leave its direct course to strike the tree rather than the dome of worship, or to spend its fury on the herd, rather than the herds
7. « Millions of millions of living creatures have owed their birth to this active element, and shall we think it
s!range if a few meet their death from it? Thus the mountain torrent that rushes down to fertilize the plain, in its course may sweep away the works of human industry, and man himself with them, but could its benefits be purchased at another price ?"
9. “ All this," said the Solitary, "I tolerably compre. hend; but may I presume to ask whence have proceeded the moral evils of the painful scenes of yesterday ?* What good end is answered by making man the scourge of man, and preserving the guilty at the cost of the innocent ?"
9. “That too," replied the venerable stranger, “is a consequence
of the same wise laws of Providence. If it *was right to make man a crea;ure of habit, and render those things easy to him with which he is most familiar, the sailor must of course be better able to shift for himself in a shipwreck than the passenger ; while that self. love, which is essential to the preservation of life, must, in general, cause him to consult his own safety prefera-bly to that of others,
10. “The same force of habit, in a way of life, full of hardship and peril, must conduce to form a rough, bold, and unfeeling character. This, under the direction of principle, will make a brave man ; without it, a robber, and a murderer. In the latter case, human laws step in to remove the evil which they have not been able to prevent. Wickedness meets with the fate which sooner or later always awaits it; and innocence, though occasionally a sufferer, is proved in the end to be the surest path to happiness.”
* See Chapter I..
11. “.But," resumed the Solitary, “can it be said that the lot of innocence is always preferable to that of guilt in this world ?” “If it cannot,” replied the other "thinkest thou that the Almighty is unable to make retribution in a future world ? Dismiss then from thy mind the care of SINGLE EVENTS, secure that the GREAT WHOLE is ordered for the best. Expect not a particular interposition of Heaven, because such an interposition would seein to thee seasonable. Thou, perhaps, wouldst stop the vast machine of the universe to save a fly from being crushed under its wheels. But innumerable flies and men are crushed every day, yet the grand motion goes on, and will go on, to fulfil the benevolent intentions of its Author.”
17. He ceased, and sleep on a sudden lett the eyelids of the Solitary. He looked abroad from his cell, and beheld all nature smiling around him. The rising sun shone on a clear sky. Birds were sporting in the air, and fish glancing on the surface of the waters.
Fleets were pursuing their steady course, gently wafted by the pleasant breeze. Light fleecy clouds were sailing over the blue expanse of heaven.
His soul sympathized with the scene ; and peace and joy filled his bosom.
JUSTICE. 1. THERE is no virtue so truly great and godlike as Justice. Most of the other virtues are virtues of created beings, or accommodated to our - nature as we are
Justice is that which is practised by God himself, and to be practised in its perfections by none but him. Omniscience and omnipotence are requisite for the full exertion of it. The one to discover every degree of uprightness in thoughts, words, and actions. The other, to measure out, and impart suitable rewards and punishments.
2. As to be perfectly just is an attribute in the divine mature, to be so to the utmost of our abilities is the glory of man. Such an one who has the public administration in his hands, acts like tbe representative of his Maker, in recompensing the virtuous, and punishing the offender. By the extirpating of a criminal he averts the judgements of heaven when ready to fall upon an impious people.
3. When a nation once loses its regard to justice ; when they do not look upon it as something venerable, holy and inviolable ; when any
of them dare presume to lessen, affront or terrify those, who have the distribution of it in their hands; when a judge is capable of being influenced by any thing but law, or a cause may be recommended by any thing that is foreign to its own inerits, we may venture to pronounce that such a nation is hastening to its ruin.
4. It is happy for a nation, as weli as for individuals, that a tribunal is filled with a man of an upright and inflexible temper, who in the execution of his country's laws can overcome all private fear, resentment, solicitations, and even pity itself. Whenever passion enters into a sentence or decision, so far will there be in it a tincture of injustice. In short, justice discards party, friendship, kindred, and is therefore always represented as blind, that we may suppose her thoughts are wholly intent on the equity of the cause, without being diverted or prejudiced by objects foreign to it.
5. As one of the Persian Sultans lay encamped on the plains of Avala, a certain great man of the army entered by force into a peasant's house and grossly violated the rules of justice against his family. The peasant complained the next inorning to the Sultan, and desired redress ; but was not able to point out the criminal. The Sultan, who was much incensed at the injury done to the poor man, told him that probably the offender might visit his house again, and if he did, commanded him immediately to repair to his tent and acquaint him with it.
6. Accordingly, in a few days, the offender again entered the peasant's bouse, and turned the owner out of doors; who thereupon applied himself to the imperial tent, as he was ordered. The Sultan went in person with his guards, to the poor man's house, where he arrived about midnight. As the attendants carried each of them a flambeau' in their hands, the Sultan, after having order ed all the lights to be put out, gave the word to enter the house, find out the criminal, and put him to death. 7. This was immediately done, and the corpse laid out upon the floor by the Sultan's command. He then bid every one to light his flambeau, and stand about the dead body. The Sultan approaching it, looked upon the face, and immediately fell upon his knees in prayer. Upon bis rising up, he ordered the peasant to set before him whatever food he had in his house : the peasant brought out a great quantity of coarse fare, of which the Emperor are very heartily.
8. The peasant, seeing him in good humor, presumed to ask him, why he ordered the flambeaus to be put
out before he had commanded the offender to be slain? Why upon lighting them again, he looked upon the face of the dead body, and fell down in prayer? And why, after this, he had meat set before him, of which he now eat so hear. tily? The Sultan being willing to gratify the curiosity of bis host, answered him as follows :
9. “Upon hearing the greatness of the offence which had been committed by one of the army,
I had reason to think it might have been one of my own sons, for who else would have been so audacious and presuming? I gave orders therefore for the lights to be extinguished, that I might not be led astray by partiality and compassion, from doing justice on the criminal. Upon lighting the flambeaus a second time, I looked upon the face of the dead person, and to my unspeakable joy, found it was not my
It was for this reason that I fell upon my knees and gave
thanks to God. As for my eating heartily, you will cease to wonder at it, when you know that the great anxiety of mind I have been in, upon this occasion, since the first complaint you brought me, has hindered my eating any thing from that time till this moment."
THE SCRIPTURES. 1. TO persuade men to believe the scriptures, I only offer this to their consideration. If there be a God, whose providence governs the world, and all the creatures in it, is it not reasonable to think, that he hath a particular care of men, the noblest part of this visible world ? and seeing he hath made them capable of eternal duration ; that he hath provided for their eternal happiness, and sufficiently revealed to them the way to it, and the terms, and conditions of it!
* See Rule V, page 17.
2. Now let any man produce any book in the world, that pretends to be from God, and to do this, that for the matter of it is worthy of God, the doctrines thereof are so useful, and the precepts so reasonable, and the arguments so powerful, the truth of all which was confirmed by so many great and unquestionable miracles, the relation of which has been transmitted to posterity in public and authentic records, written by those who were eye and ear witnesses of what they wrote, and free from suspicions of any worldly interest or design
3. Let any produce a book like this, in all these res. pects; and which over and besides, hath by the power and reasonableness of the doctrines contained in it, prevailed so miraculously in the world, by weak and inconsiderable means, in opposition to all the wit and power of the world, and under such discouragenient as no other religion was ever assaulted with; let any inan bring forth such a book, and he hath my leave to believe it as soon as the bible.
4. But if there be none such, as I am well assured there is not, then every one who thinks God hath revealed hin. self to mea, ought to embrace and entertain the doctrine of the holy scriptures, as revealed by God.
CHAPTER LIV. - HOW SHOULD I WORK IT?”- Addressed to Parents.
1. ARE you a parent ? then you have a hard task to be both the friend and the master of your children ; and if you are not both, you do not work it right. Sometimes you are the fond, indulgent parent; nothing is too good for the darling; he may pout and strike, or kick over the tea kettle, cups, and glauses; and you would just moderately say, “Why, Billy, how you behave; that is not pretty ; I shan't love you for that.''
2. At other times you are in a pet, and the child by accident, in mere play, or in attempting to drink, lets fall a tumbler, or a tea cup; you fly at him, fall on himn like a niastiff, cuff his ears, and shake him to a jelly. In the first case, you are the wenk, silly dupe of your child in the