« PreviousContinue »
jects, whose beauties lie scattered over thy dread abyss ?
“ The mind staggers with the immensity of her own conceptions -- and when she contemplates the Aux and reflux of the tides, which from the beginning of the world were never known to err, how does she shriok at the idea of that Divine Power, which originally laid thy foundations so sure, and whose omnipotent voice hath fixed the limits where thy proud waves shall be stayed !"--- Keate.
THE NATURE OF ART Is such, that it is entitled to our particular attention : we may address her in these appro. priate strains....
“ O ART! ihou distinguishing attribute and honour of human kind! who art not only able to imitate Nature in her graces, but even to adorn her with graces of thine own! Possessed of thee, the meanest genius grows deserving, and has a just demand for a portion of our es. 'teem: devoid of thee, the brightest of ouf kind lie lost and useless, and are but poorly distinguished from the most despicable and base ! When we inhabited forests in common with brutes, nor otherwise known from them than by the species, thou taughtest us to assert the sovereignty of our nature, and to assume that empire, for which Providence intended us! Thou. sands of utilities owe their birth to thee, thou. sands of elegancies, pleasures, and joys, with. out which, life itself would be but an insipid possession."...Harris,
THE OPERATIONS OF ART ARE extensive ; they extend to the animate and inanimate parts of the creation ; on every side we are called to mark its manifold and astonishing effects.
" Wide and extensive is the reach of thy dominioa ! No element is there, either so violent or so subtile, so yielding or so sluggish, as by the powers of its nature, to be superior to thy direction. Thou dreadest not the fierce inspe. tuosity of fire, but compellest its violence to be both obedient and useful. By it thou softenest the stubborn tribe of minerals, so as to be formed and moulded into shapes innumera. ble. Hence weapons, armour, coin : and previous to these and other thy works and ener. gies, hence all those various tools and instru. ments, which impower thee to proceed to far. ther ends more excellent. Nor is the subtile air less obedient to thy power; whether thou willest it to be a minister to our pleasure, or utility. At thy command it giveth birth to sounds, which charm the soul with all the pow. ers of harmony. Under thy instruction it moves the ships over the seas; while that yielding element, where, otherwise, we sink, even water itself is by thee taught to bear us ; the vast ocean to promote that intercourse of nations, which ignorance would imagine it was destined to intercept. To say how thy influence is seen on earth, would be to teach the meanest what he knows already. Suffice it but to mention, fields of arable and pasture; lawns, and groves, and gardens, and planta
tions; cottages, villages, castles, towns; palaces, temples, and spacious cities.
“ Nor does thy empire end in subjects thus inanimate. Its power also extends through the various races of animals ; who either patiently submit to become thy slaves, or are sure to find thee an irresistible foe. The faithful dog, the patient ox, the generous horse and the mighty elephant, are content, all, to receive their instructions from thee, and readily to lend their natural instincts or strength, to per. form those offices, which thy occasions call for. If there be found any species which are serviceable when dead, thou suggestest the means to investigate and take them; if
be So savage as to refuse being tamed, or of na. tures fierce enough to venture an attack, thou teachest us to scorn their brutal rage, to meet, repel, pursue, and conquer."...Harris.
THE TRIUMPHS OF ART, ARE of that elevated and distinguished nature that we ought by no means to overlook them; the contemplation of them may roase the latent energies of gepias, and render the most essential advantages to society.
“ O ART! amazing is thy influence, when thou art employed only on these- inferior sube jects, on natures inanimate, or, at best, irra. tional! But whenever thou choosest a subject more noble, and employest thyself in cultiva. ting the mind itself, then it is tliou becomest truly amiable and divine, the ever-flowing source of those sublimer beauties, of which no subject, but mind alone, is capable. Then it is thou art enabled to exhibit to mankipd, the
admired tribe of poets and orators; the sacred train of patriots and heroes; the godlike list of philosophers and legislators ; the forms of vir. tuous and equal politics, where private welfare is made the same with public, where crowds themselves prove disinterested, and virtue is made a national and popular characteristic.
“ Hail ! sacred source of all these wonders! Thyself instruct me, to praise thee worthily ; through whom, whatever we do, is done with elegance and beanty; without whom, what we do is ever graceless and deformed...Venerable power! by what name shall I address thee? Shall I call thee ornament of mind, or art thou more truly mind itself ? 'Tis mind thou art, most perfect mind: not rude, untaught, but fair and polished : in such thou dwellest : of such thou art the form ; nor is it a thing more possible, to separate thee from such, than it would be to separate thee from thy own existence."--Harris.
MUTUAL ACCOMMODATION In religion, in politics, in all the concerns of life, is a duty urged upon us by the condition of humanity; and by the liberal and enlightened genius of Christianity.
“ AND now if my voice could be heard, I would earnestly call upon all the children of Adam, who are travelling in the road of life, not to fall out by the way! I would call upon all the nations of the earth to lay aside their jealousies and enmities and to unite together in the bonds of peace ! Could my voice be heard I would ardently and affectionately call upon the bigots and persecutors of the globe, no
sacred e list of
of vir. welfare crowds
longer to violate the right of conscience but to grant to every man the privilege of worshipping his God and Father in the manner that is agreeable to the dictates of his own mind!"
stic. onders! orthily
HAS so many charms attached to it, that it constitutes no small portion of human happi. ness; wisdom, and prudence, however, must be exercised for its true and proper enjoy. ment.
vhat we nerable 5 thee art that hou art ht, but Test: of
han i wn er
erns or ondition lighten
“ HOW erroneous a notion must the minds of those men have formed of their “ being's end and aim," and how strong must their antipa. thies to their species be, who, like a certain French philosopher would choose a station among the craters of Vesuvius, as a place which afforded him greater security than the society of mankind! The idea of being able to produce our happiness from the stores of amusement and delight which we ourselves may possess independently of all communication with, or assistance from others is certainly extremely flattering to the natural pride of man. But even if this were possible, and that a solitary enthusiast could work up his feelings to a higher and more lasting degree of felicity than an active inhabitant of the world, amidst all its seducing vices and enchanting follies, is capable of enjoying, it would not follow that society is not the province of all those whom peculiar circumstances have not unfitted for its duties and enjoyments. It is, indeed, a false and deceitful notion, that a purer stream of happiness is to be found in the delightful bow.