« PreviousContinue »
No God!- Who makes the bii i to wing
Its flight like arrow through the sky,
From rock to rock triumphantly?
Who formed behemoth, huge and high,
And great leviathan to lie,
With thousand feelings soft and sweet,
The earth we tread beneath our feet,
And soar away on pinions fleet
With fair ethereal forms to meet,
Of pillars strong, that alter not?
Who doth the ocean bounds allot?
Who all things to perfection brought
Go ask the fool, of impious thought,
THE EXISTENCE OF A GOD.
“ The fool bath said in his heart, there is no God." Go out beneath the arched heavens, at night, and say if you can, “ There is no God!” Pronounce that dreadful blasphemy, and each star above you will reproach the unbroken darkness of your intellect; every voice that floats upon the night winds will bewail
your utter hopelessness and folly.
Is there no God? Who, then, unrolled the blue scroll, and threw upon its high frontispiece the legible gleamings of immortality? Who fashioned this green earth, with its perpetual rolling waters, and its wide expanse of islands and of main ? Who settled the foundations of the mountains ? Who payed the heavens with clouds, and attuned, amid the clamor of storms, the voice of thunders, and unchained the lightnings that flash in their gloom? Who gave to the eagle a sate eyrie where the tempests dwell, and beat the strongest, and to the dove a tranquil abode amid the forests that echo to the minstrelsy of her moan ? Who made thee, O man! with thy perfected elegance of intellect and form? Who made the light pleasant to thee, and the darkness a covering, and a herald to the first gorgeous flashes of the morning?
There is a God." All nature declares it in a language too plain to be misapprehended. The great truth is too legibly written over the face of the whole creation to be easily mistaken. Thou canst behold it in the tender blade just starting from the earth in the early spring, or in the sturdy oak that has withstood the blasts of fourscore winters. The purling rivulet, meandering through downy meads and verdant glens, and Niagara's tremendous torrent, leaping over its awful chasm, and rolling in majesty its broad sheet of waters onward to the ocean, unite in proclaiming—THERE IS A GOD.
'Tis heard in the whispering breeze and in the howling storm ; in the deep-toned thunder, and in the earthquake's shock; 'tis declared to us when the tempest lowers, when the hurricane sweeps over the land, when the winds moan around our dwellings, and die in sullen murmurs on the plain, when the heavens, overcast with blackness, ever and anon are illuminated by the lightning's glare.
Nor is the truth less solemnly impressed on our minds in the universal hush and calm repose of nature, when all is still as the soft breathings of an infant's slumber. The vast ocean, when its broad expanse is whitened with foam, and when its heaving waves roll mountain on mountain high, or when the dark blue of heaven's vault is reflected with beauty on its smooth and tranquil bosom, confirms the declaration. The twinkling star, shedding its flickering rays so far above the reach of human ken, and the glorious sun in the heavens,--all, all declare, there is a universal FIRST CAUSE.
And man, the proud lord of creation, so fearfully and wonderfully made.--each joint in its corresponding socket, each niuscle, tendon, and artery performing their allotted functions with all the precision of the most perfect mechanism, and, surpassing all, possessed of a soul capable of enjoying the most exquisite pleasure, or of enduring the most excruciating pain, which is endowed with immortal capacities, and is destined to liveonward through the endless ages of eternity,—tirese all unite in one general proclamation of the eternal truth that there is a Being, infinite in wisdom, who reigns over all, undivided and supreme, the fountain of all lite, source of all light, from whom all blessings How, and in whom all happiness centres.
ARTEMUS WARD VISITS THE SHAKERS.
The Shakers is the strangest religious sex I ever met. I'd hearn tell of 'em and I'd seen 'em, with their broad brimmed hats and long wastid coats; but I'd never cum into immejit contack with 'em.
But one dark and stormy night, when the winds blew pityusly, I got swampt in the exterior of New York State, and was forced to tie up with the Shakers.
I was toilin threw the mud, when in the dim vister of the futer I obsarved the gleams of a taller candle. Tiein a hornet's nest to my off hoss's tail to kinder encourage him, I soon reached the place. I knockt at the door, which it was opened unto me by a tall, slick-faced, solum lookin individooal, who turned out to be a elder.
“Mr. Shaker," sed I," you see before you a babe in the Woods, so to speak, and he axes a shelter of you.”
“Yay," sed the shaker, and he led the way into the house, another Shaker bein sent to put my horse and wagon under kiver.
A solum female, lookin somewhat like a last year's bean-pole stuck into a long meal-bag, cum in and axed me was J athirst and did I hunger? To which I asser.
ted, “A few.” She went orf, and I endeavored to open a conversation with the old man.
Elder, I spect," sed I. “Yay," he said.
Health's good, I reckon ?” “Yay."
“What's the wages of a elder, when he understands his bizness-or do you devote your sarvices gratooitous ?”
• Yay,” “Storm nigh, sir ?” “
Yay.” “ If the storm continners there'll be a mess underfoot, hay?"
“If I may be so bold, kind sir, what's the price of that pecooler kind of wesket you wear, includin trimmin's ?”
“I pawsed a minit, and then, thinkin I'd be faseshus with him and see how that would go, I slapt him on the shoulder, burst into a hearty larf, and told him that as a yayer he had no living ekel.
He jumped up as if bilin water had been squirted into his ears, groaned, rolled his eyes up tords the sealin and sed: You're a man of sin!”
He then walked out of the room.
Direckly thar cum in two young Shakeresses, as putty and slick lookin galls as I ever met. It is troo they was drest in meal-bags like the old one I'd met previsly, and their shiny, silky hair was hid from sight by long, white caps, such as I spose female gosts wear;
but their eyes sparkled like diamonds, their cheeks was like roses, and they was charmin enuff to make a man throw stuns at his grandmother, if they axed him to. They commenst clearing away the dishes, casting shy glances at me all the time. I got excited. I forgot Betsey Jane in my rapter, and sez I, “My pretty dears, how air you?”
We air well,” they solumly sed. “ Where is the old man?” said I, in a soft voice. “Of whom dost thou speak,- Brother Uriah ?"
"I mean that gay and festive chap who calls me a man of sin. Shouldn't wonder if his name wasn't Uriah.” “ He has retired.”
Wall, my pretty dears," sez I, "let's have some fun. Let's play piss in the corner. What say?”
"Air you a Shaker, sir ?" they asked.
"Wall, my pretty dears, I haven't arrayed my proud form in a long weskit yet, but if they wus all like you perhaps I'd jine 'em. As it is, I am willing to be a Shaker protemporary.”
They was full of fun. I seed that at fust, only they was a little skeery. I tawt 'em puss in the corner, and sich like plase, and we had a nice time, keepin quiet of course, so that the old man couldn't hear.
When we broke
sez I: "My pretty dears, ear I go, you have no objections, have you, to a innersent kiss at partin ?”
* Yay,” they said, and I-yayed.
DEATH OF AN ISEBRIATE.
Raise me up gently--there!
I am dying at last
I am going so fast-
Bring water I pray ;