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may be supposed to have been equally qualified with Mr. Paine, "to look through nature up to nature's God." Yet the result of all his contemplation, was the most confirmed and devout belief in all which the other holds in contempt as despicable and drivelling superstition.
But these men were only deep thinkers, and lived in their closets, unaccustomed to the traffic of the world, and to the laws which practically regulate mankind. Gentlemen, in the place where you now sit to administer the justice of this great country, above a century ago the never to be forgotten Sir Matthew Hale presided, whose faith in Christianity is an exalted commentary upon its truth and reason, and whose life was a glorious example of its fruits in man; administering human justice with a wisdom and purity drawn from the pure fountain of the Christian dispensation, which has been and will be in all ages, a subject of the highest reverence and admiration.
But it is said, by Mr. Paine, that the Christian fable is but the tale of the more ancient superstitions of the world, and may easily be detected by a proper understanding of the mythologies of the heathens. Did Milton understand those mythologies? Was HE less versed than MR. PAINE in the superstitions of the world? No: they were the subject of his immortal song; and though shut out from all recur. rence to them, he poured them forth from the stores of a memory, rich with all that man ever knew, and laid them in their order, as the illustration of that real and exalted faith, the unquestionable source of that fervid genius, which cast a sort of shade upon all the other works of man.
Thus, gentlemen, you find all that is great, or wise, or splendid, or illustrious, amongst created beings;-all the minds gifted beyond ordinary nature, though divided by distant ages, and by clashing opinions, yet joining, as it were, in one sublime chorus, to celebrate the truths of Christianity, and laying upon its holy altars the never-fading offerings of their immortal wisdom.
XXXII.—THE OCCASIONS OF INTEMPERANCE.
Extract from an Address delivered before the Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance, May 31, 1827.-By CHARLES SPRAGUE.
It is truly astonishing, my friends, to behold how com pletely the habit of unnecessary drinking pervades the various classes of our community. In one way or another it is their morning and evening devotion, their noonday and mid. night sacrifice. From the highest grade to the lowest, from the drawing-room to the kitchen, from the gentleman to the laborer, down descends the universal custom. From those who sit long at the wine that has been rocked upon the ocean, and ripened beneath an Indian sky, down to those who solace themselves with the fiery liquor that has cursed no other shores than our own-down, till it reaches the miserable abode, where the father and mother will have rum, though the children cry for bread-down to the bottom, even to the prisonhouse, the forlorn inmate of which hails him his best friend, who is cunning enough to convey to him, undiscovered, the allconsoling, the all-corroding poison.
Young men must express the warmth of their mutual regard, by daily and nightly libations at some fashionable hotel-it is custom. The more advanced take turns in flinging open their own doors to each other, and the purity of their esteem is testified by the number of bottles they can empty together-it is the custom. The husband deems it but civil to commemorate the accidental visit of his acquaintance by a glass of ancient spirit, and the wife holds it a duty to celebrate the flying call of her companion with a taste of the latest liqueur*-for this, also, is the custom. The interesting gossipry of every little evening coterie † must be enlivened with the customary cordial. Custom demands, that idle quarrels, perhaps generated over a friendly cup, another friend. ly cup must drown. Foolish wagers are laid, to be adjusted in foolish drinking-the rich citizen stakes a dozen, the poor
* Pronounced, as if written lekuré, accent on the last syllable: it means, any spirituous cordia!.
† Pronounced, co-te-ree,accent on the last syllable.
one, a dram. "The brisk minor panting for twenty-one," baptizes his new-born manhood in the strong drink to which he intends training it up. Births, marriages, and burials, are all hallowed by strong drink. Anniversaries, civic festivities, military displays, municipal elections, and even religious ceremonials, are nothing without strong drink. The political ephemera of a little noisy day, and the colossus whose foot-steps millions wait upon, must alike be apotheosised in liquor. A rough-hewn statesman is toasted at, and drank at, to his face in one place, while his boisterous adversary sits through the same mummery in another. Here, in their brimming glasses, the adherents of some successful candidate mingle their congratulations; and there, in like manner, the partizans of his defeated rival forget their chagrin. Even the great day of national emancipation is, with too many, only a great day of drinking; and the proud song of deliverance is trouled* from the lips of those, who are bending body and soul to a viler thraldom, than that from which their fathers rescued them.
XXXIII.-THE EFFECTS OF INTEMPERANCE UPON A REPUBLIC.
Extract from the same Address.
In a national point of view, my friends, the subject of intemperance assumes a fearful political importance. The ruinous consequences of wide-spread intemperance to a people governing themselves, can hardly be overrated. If there be on earth one nation more than another, whose institutions must draw their life-blood from the individual purity of its citizens, that nation is our own. Rulers by divine right, and nobles by hereditary succession, may, perhaps, tolerate with impunity those depraving indulgences which keep the great mass abject. Where the many enjoy little or no power, it were a trick of policy to wink at those enervating vices, which would rob them of both the ability and the inclination to enjoy it. But in our country, where almost every man,
• Pronounced trōled.
however humble, bears to the omnipotent ballot-box his full portion of the sovereignty-where at regular periods the ministers of authority, who went forth to rule, return to be ruled, and lay down their dignities at the feet of the monarch multitude--where, in short, public sentiment is the absolute lever that moves the political world, the purity of the people is the rock of political safety. We may boast, if we please, of our exalted privileges, and fondly imagine that they will be eternal-but whenever those vices shall abound, which unde. niably tend to debasement, steeping the poor and the ignorant still lower in poverty and ignorance, and thereby destroying that wholesome mental equality which can alone sustain a self-ruled people--it will be found by woful experience, that our happy system of government, the best ever devised for the intelligent and good, is the very worst to be intrusted to the degraded and vicious. The great majority will then truly become a many-headed monster, to be tamed and led at will. The tremendous power of suffrage, like the strength of the eyeless Nazarite, so far from being their protection, will but serve to pull down upon their heads the temple their ances. tors reared for them. Caballers and demagogues will find it an easy task to delude those who have deluded themselves; and the freedom of the people will finally be buried in the grave of their virtues. National greatness may survivesplendid talents and brilliant victories may fling their delusive lustre abroad-these can illumine the darkness that hangs round the throne of a despot-but their light will be like the baleful flame that hovers over decaying mortality, and tells of the corruption that festers beneath. The immortal spirit will have gone-and along our shores, and among our hillsthose shores made sacred by the sepulchre of the Pilgrim, those hills hallowed by the uncoffined bones of the Patriot-even there, in the ears of their degenerate descendants, shall ring the last knell of departed Liberty.
XXXIV.-SPEECH OF THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM BEFORE HIS EXECUTION.
Extract from Shakspeare-King Henry 8th.-Act. II. Scene I.
ALL good people,
And by that name must die: Yet, heaven bear witness,
The law I bear no malice for my death,
It has done, upon the premises, but justice :
But those, that sought it, I could wish more Christians:
For then my guiltless blood must cry against them.
His noble friends, and fellows, whom to leave
Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
* All good people,
Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour
And when you would say something that is sad,
Let them see to it that they glory, &c.
*Divorce, that which causes the divorcement or separation of the head from the body: divorce of steel, the axe.