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could not expect to escape; and in a moment the whole force of the bandit gang would have turned
The principles of self-defence, which pervade all animated nature, and act towards life the same part that is performed by the external mechanism of the eye towards the delicate sense of vision affording it, on the approach of danger, at the same time, warning and protection - do not require that action shall be withheld till it can be of no avail. When the rattlesnake gives warning of his fatal purpose, the wary traveller waits not for the poisonous blow, but plants upon his head his armed heel, and crushes out at once “his venom and his strength.” When the hunter hears the rustling in the jungle, and beholds the large green eyes of the spotted tiger glaring upon him, he waits not for the deadly spring, but sends at once through the brain of his crouching enemy, the swift and leaden death.
If war was declared against your country by an insulting foe, would you wait till your sleeping cities were wakened by the terrible music of the bursting bomb, till your green fields were trampled by the hoofs of the invader, and made red with the blood of you brethren? No! you would send forth your fleets and armies ; you would unloose upon the broad ocean your keen falcons ; ; and the thunder of your guns would arouse stern echoes along the hostile coast. Yet this would be but national defence, and authorized by the same great principle of self-protection, which applies no less to individuals than to nations.
Horace Mann, lawyer, statesman, and educator, was born at Franklin, Mass., May 4, 1796, and died at Yellow Springs, Ohio, August 2, 1859. His fame rests mainly on his work as an educator, and future generations will remember him as one who believed and aided in spreading the “light of the soul ” throughout the world. His language is pregnant with feeling, showing clearly that his heart was in his work; the descriptive passages are flowery and rich, while the instructive portions of his discourse are clear and convincing.
FROM her earliest history, the
policy of this
country has been to develop the minds of all her people, and to imbue them with the principles of duty. To do this work most effectually, she has begun with the young. If she would continue to mount higher and higher toward the summit of prosperity, she must continue the means by which her present elevation has been gained. In doing this, she will not only exercise the noblest prerogative of government, but will co-operate with the Almighty in one of His sublimest works.
The Greek rhetorician, Longinus, quotes from the Mosaic account of the creation what he calls the sublimest passage ever uttered:
66 God said, 'Let there be light, and there was light.” From the centre of black immensity effulgence bursts forth. Above, beneath, on every side, its radiance streamed out, silent, yet making each spot in the vast concave brighter than the line which the lightning pencils upon the midnight cloud. Darkness fled as the swift beams spread onward and outward, in an unending circumfusion of splendor. Onward and outward still they move to this day, glorifying through wider and wider regions of space, the infinite Author from whose power and beneficence they sprang. But not only in the be ginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, did he say, “Let there be light.” Whenever a human soul is born into the world, its Creator stands over it, and again pronounces the same sublime words, “Let there be light.”
Magnificent, indeed, was the material creation, when, suddenly blazing forth in mid-space, the new-born sun dispelled the darkness of the ancient night. But infinitely more magnificent is it when the human soul rays forth its subtler and swifter beams; when the light of the senses irradiates all outward things, revealing the beauty of their colors and the exquisite symmetry of their proportions and forms; when the light of reason penetrates to their invisible properties and laws, and displays all those hidden relations that make up all the sciences; when the light of conscience illuminates the moral world, separating truth from error, and virtue from vice. The light of the newly kindled sun, indeed, was glorious. It struck upon all the planets, and waked into existence their myriad capacities of life and joy. As it rebounded from them, and showed their vast orbs all wheeling, circle beyond circle in their stupendous courses, the sons of God shouted for joy. The light sped onward, beyond Sirius, beyond the polestar, beyond Orion and the Pleiades, and is still spreading onward into the abysses of space. But the light of the human soul flies swifter than the light of the sun, and out-shines its meridian blaze. It can embrace not only the sun of our system, but all suns and galaxies of suns; ay! the soul is capable of knowing and enjoying Him who created the suns themselves; and when these starry lustres that now glorify the firmament shall wax dim, and fade away like a wasted taper, the light of the soul shall still remain; nor time, nor cloud, nor any power but its own perversity, shall ever quench its brightness. Again I would say, that whenever a human soul is born into the world, God stands over it and pronounces the same sublime fiat, “Let there be light!” and may the time soon come, when all human governments shall coöperate with the Divine government in carrying this benediction and baptism into fulfilment !
SANCTITY OF THE UNION
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS
Alexander Hamilton Stephens, LL.D., was born near Crawfordsville, Georgia, Feb. 11, 1812, and graduated at Franklin College, Athens, Ga., in 1832, at the head of his class. He studied law and took up the practice in Crawfordsville, in his native county. In 1836 he was elected a member of the lower house of the Georgia legislature, in which he served five years. In 1842, he was elected to the State Senate; and the following year to Congress, as a Whig, retaining his seat till 1859, when he resigned. After the Kansas struggle in Congress, he became a Democrat and supported the Lecompton constitution in 1858. On the outbreak of secession in the South, Mr. Stephens opposed it, defending the Union in a number of public speeches. He, however, changed his attitude when it was evident that opposition was unavailing, and was elected to the vice-presidency of the new confederacy. After the war, he repeatedly represented his State in Congress. He was inaugurated Governor of Georgia in 1882. He died March 4, 1883. In contrast with his small and feeble frame, Stephens