ページの画像
PDF
ePub

For the whole world of waters, the firm land,
The canopy, with all its suns and stars,
Its bright, unnumbered systems, all are His,
And He is every where.

LESSON CL.

Examples of Self-taught Men.

HENRY STEPHENS was born in Paris, in 1503,

and commenced business in that city as a printer in 1526. He had before this time acted as chief manager of the establishment of his father-in-law, Simon de Colines, and had, in that situation, superintended an edition of the New Testament. He became not only the most distinguished printer, but one of the most learned scholars of his time, as his works, and especially his great Thesaurus of the Latin language, amply testify. All the productions which proceeded from his press are remarkable both for their extreme beauty of execution, and their almost immaculate correctness. In order to secure for them this latter quality, he was wont, we are told, in many cases, to exhibit the proofs for public inspection, and to offer a reward for every error any individual should detect in them.

The father of RICHARDSON, the great novelist, was a joiner; and he himself, after having been taught reading and writing at a country school, was bound apprentice to a London printer, named Wilde, with whom he served for the usual period. Soon after his apprenticeship had expired, he found employment as foreman in a printingoffice. In this situation he remained for five or six years, with scarcely a hope of any higher advancement. By the assistance of several friends, however, whom his industry, intelligence and amiable manners had secured for him, he was at last enabled to enter into business on his own account. Having established himself in a court in Fleet Street, his success speedily began to justify the expectations which had been entertained of him. Meanwhile his literary tastes, and even some indications he had given of his talents as a writer, had become known among his acquaintance, and he was employed on various occasions by the booksellers, in the composition of prefaces and dedications for works which they were bringing out. When he commenced the composition of his “ Pamela,” the first production by which he obtained any distinction as an author, he was in his fifty-second year. The book met with the most extraordinary success, having gone through five editions in the course of a year.

Robert DoDSLEY was born in 1703, at Mansfield, in the county of Nottingham, England. His parents were very poor, and his education, consequently, of the scantiest description. He was, in the first instance, bound apprentice to a stocking-weaver ; but, after some time, he abandoned this employment, and, having gone into service, became eventually footman in a noble family. In this situation, a copy of verses, which he addressed to Pope, obtained for him the notice and encouragement of that celebrated writer. At length he established himself as a bookseller in Pall Mall. His difficulties were now over, and the way to independence was before him. By his prudence and steadiness, he made his business, in course of time, an extremely valuable one, and he became at last one of the most eminent London publishers of his day. Of his “Economy of Human Life" there are about twelve different translations in the French language alone.

JOHN METCALF, a native of Manchester, in England, became entirely blind at a very early age. He passed the younger part of his life as a wagoner, and occasionally as a guide in intricate roads during the night, or when the tracks were covered with snow. He afterwards became a projector and surveyor of highways in difficult and mountainous regions. Most of the roads over the Peak in Derbyshire were altered by his direction.

HENRY WILD, who was born in 1684, at Norwich, in England, worked in a tailor's shop for fourteen years. In the course of seven years afterwards, chiefly by his own unassisted efforts, he made himself master of the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic and Persian languages. At Oxford he was called the “ Arabian tailor."

LESSON CLI.

Select Sentences in Prose.—THOMAS ADAM.

[ocr errors]

Liking and esteeming others merely for their agreement with us in religion, opinion, and manner of living, is only a less offensive kind of self-adoration.

Let me direct all my studies chiefly to the great end of serving others in love, and not merely with a view to the pleasure of knowing ; much less to self-applause, or the good opinion of the world.

How glorious and happy to say truly, in case of injury, • The author of it only hurts me by hurting himself.' Before you resent a thing, take time, a twelvemonth at least, to consider whether there be any real cause for it; and if you find there is, do not deliberate a moment whether you should forgive.

Submission to the will of God, with experience of his support in pain, sickness, affliction, is a more joyous and happy state than any degree of health or worldly prosperity.

The soul is like the earth, sometimes green and springing, at other times dry and withering; both powerless in

themselves, and neither of them fruitful without a proper cultivation on the part of man.

If there was but one person in the world whom I knew to be the creature and workmanship of God, and all the rest made by chance, how greatly should I think of that person's nature and original, and how ready should I be to help him in all his necessities, for the sake of the divine impression he bears, and the great dignity of his relation ! Behold, O man, thou art placed in a world of such beings; all the offspring of God, dear to him as his children, thy brethren by the same high birth, and every one of them demanding thy love, esteem and utmost compassion.

Our future existence will be the same kind of life, or state of being, continued, which we are fixed in here. Death makes no alteration in our condition ; it only clears up our mistakes about it.

Thankfulness and happiness imply each other. We must be thankful to be happy, and happy to be thankful. God's house is an hospital at one end, and a palace at the other. In the hospital end are Christ's members upon earth, conflicting with various diseases, and confined to a strict regimen of his appointing. What sort of a patient must he be, who would be sorry to be told that the hour is come for his dismission from the hospital, and to see the doors thrown wide open for his admission into the king's presence ?

It is our duty to bear the disorders of the mind as well as those of the body; feeling both, applying proper remedies, and submitting quietly to the will of God.

A tender conscience is an inestimable blessing ; that is, a conscience not only quick to discern what is evil, but instantly to shun it, as the eye-lid closes itself against a mote.

He is the greatest saint upon earth, who feels his poverty most in the want of perfect holiness, and longs with the greatest earnestness for the time when he shall be put in full possession of it.

Christian morals, or rather renovation, is a glorious idea, and it fills one with rapture to think it is promised, and aattinable, though not fully in this life.

Pride is seeing the defects of others, and overlooking our own: humility is seeing, feeling, and lamenting sin in ourselves, not only past but present sin.

The Christian's hope of heaven is the sweetness of prosperity, and the support of adversity, and cures us at once of all attachment to the world, or expectation of rest in it.

One great mistake of life is looking to the clouds for happiness, instead of looking above them.

When time is devoted to God, we shall have enough for all other uses.

Instead of stretching our thoughts to the mystery of creation, and soaring above the stars, when we think of God, which, for the most part, is setting Him at a distance from us; it may be of great use to consider Him as present in the room or little spot where we are, and as it were circumscribed within it, in all his glory, majesty, and purity.

LESSON CLII.

Selections in Poetry, from various Authors.

Love to God.

With all thy heart, with all thy soul and mind,

Thou must him love, and his commands embrace; All other loves, with which the world doth blind

Weak fancies, and stir up affections base,

Thou must renounce and utterly displace, And give thyself unto Him full and free, That full and freely gave himself to thee.

EDMUND SPENSER.

« 前へ次へ »