Page images
PDF
EPUB

On the hill-side and the sea,
Still lies where he laid his houseless head ;-

But the Pilgrim,-where is he?
The Pilgrim Fathers are at rest;

When summer's throned on high, And the world's warm breast is in verdure dress'd,

Go, stand on the hill where they lie.
The earliest ray of the golden day

On that hallow'd spot is cast;
And the evening sun, as it leaves the world,

Looks kindly on that spot last.
The Pilgrim spirit has not fled ;

It walks in noon's broad light;
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead,

With their holy stars, by night.
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,

And shall guard this ice-bound shore,
Till the waves of the bay, where the Mayflower lay,

Shall foam and freeze no more.

THE MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS.

BY DR. BEECHER.

We are called upon to cherish with high veneration and grateful recollections, the memory of our fathers. Both the ties of nature and the dictates of policy, demand this. And surely, no nation had ever less occasion to be ashamed of its ancestry, or more occasion for gratulation in that respect; for, while most nations trace their origin to barbarians, the foundations of our nation were laid by civilized men—by Christians. Many of them were men of distinguished families, of powerful talents, of great learning, and of pre-eminent wisdom, of decision of character, and of most inflexible integrity. And yet, not unfrequently, they have been treated as if they had no virtues ; while their sins and follies have been sedulously immortalized in satirical anecdote.

The influence of such treatment of our fathers is too manifest. It creates, and lets loose upon their institutions, the vandal spirit of innovation and overthrow ; for, after the memory of our fathers shall have been rendered contemptible, who will appreciate and sustain their institutions ? The memory of our fathers, should be the watchword of liberty throughout the land : for, imperfect as they were, the world before had not seen their like, nor will it soon, we fear, behold their like

again. Such models of moral excellence, such apostles of civil and religious liberty, such shades of the illustrious dead, looking down upon their descendants with approbation or reproof, according as they follow or depart from the good way, constitute a censorship inferior only to the eye of God; and to ridicule them is national suicide.

The doctrines of our fathers have been represented as gloomy, superstitious, severe, irrational, and of a licentious tendency. But when other systems shall have produced a piety as devoted, a morality as pure, a patriotism as disinterested, and a state of society as happy, as have prevailed where their doctrines have been most prevalent, it may be in season to seek an answer to this objection.

The persecutions instituted by our fathers, have been the occasion of .ceaseless obloquy upon their fair fame. And truly, it was a fault of no ordinary magnitude, that sometimes they did persecute. But let him whose ancestors were not ten times more guilty cast the first stone, and the ashes of our fathers will no more be disturbed. Theirs was the fault of the, age and it will be easy to show, that no class of men had, at that time, approximated so nearly to just apprehensions of religious liberty; and that it is to them that the world is now indebted, for the more just and definite views which now prevail.

The superstition and bigotry of our fathers, are themes on which some of their descendants, themselves far enough from superstition if not from bigotry, have delighted to dwell.

But when we look abroad, and behold the condition of the world, compared with the conditton of New England, we may justly exclaim, “Would. to God that the ancestors of all the nations had been not only almost, but altogether, such bigots as our fathers were.

[ocr errors]

THE UNION AND ITS GOVERNMENT.

BY W. G. SIMMS.

Government
We hold to be the creature of our need,
Having no power but where necessity
Still, under guidance of the Charter, gives it.
Our taxes raised to meet our exigence,
And not for waste or favorites. Our People
Left free to share the commerce of the world,
Without one needless barrier on their prows.
Our industry at liberty for venture,
Neither abridged nor pampered ; and no calling
Preferred before another, to the ruin
Or wrong of either.

These, Sir, are my doctrines
They are the only doctrines which shall keep us
From anarchy, and that worst peril yet,
That threatens to dissever, in the tempest,
That married harmony of hope with power
That keeps our starry Union o'er the storm,
And, in the sacred bond that links our fortunes,
Makes us defy its thunders! Thus in one,
The foreign despot threatens us in vain.
Guizot and Palmerston may fret to see us

« PreviousContinue »