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to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.” Prov. xvi. 32. Alexander, great as he was in obtaining surprising victories over others, did not obtain this victory over himself. A writer, after tracing his triumphant career from the destruction of the city of Thebes, (wherein 6,000 of the inhabitants were put to the sword, and 30,000 carried into captivity,) to the time he entered Persepolis, the capital of Persia, (after routing the forces of Darius, which some have estimated to consist of a million of men; but more moderate calculations say half that number,) goes on to observe, “ From this time the glory of Alexander began to decline. Master of the greatest empire in the world, he became a slave to his own passions; gave himself up to arrogance and dissipation; showed himself ungrateful and cruel, and, in the arms of pleasure, shed the blood of his bravest generals. Hitherto sober and moderate, this hero, who strove to equal the gods, and called himself a god, sank to the level of vulgar men. Persepolis, the wonder of the world, he burned in a fit of intoxication." Thus through unsubdued passions, luxuriousness, and intemperance, he shortened his life, and died at the age of thirty-two years.
A Jewish commentator on “the Mishna," or, “The Ethics of the Fathers," has excellently said : “ The valour to which the Sacred Seriptures afford their commendation, is not that innate quality of body and mind, which enables a man to overcome his enemies; and smiling at the perils which surround him, to rush on his foe, and at the imminent risk of life, to achieve the subjugation of whosoever does oppose him. No! it is not the reckless and callous conqueror, who in his mad career of ambition, drags entire nations after his chariot wheels; which rolling over the dying and the dead, crushes whatever impedes his headlong course, regardless alike of the groans and imprecations, of the tears and of the blood, of his ill-fated victims. No! it is not the savage warrior, who submits to every privation, and braves every peril, to seek out a foe whose destruction he considers as ample compensation for all he has himself suffered, or been exposed to. No! neither of these can expect the approbation of a merciful Providence, or the commendations
of that Book in which the Preserver of the universe, the allbounteous Father of his creatures, has deigned to make known his will. Very different indeed is that species of valour on which the Sacred Volume bestows its praise. Not the destroyer is the hero, but the preserver. He is truly valiant who subdues his evil passions. When he has it in his power to harm another man, to crush his foes, to rise upon the ruin of his enemies and when the temptation assails bim from within, so that ambition, or avarice, or vengeance, or anger, is clamorous for that gratification which the opportunity offers-if he then nobly resist the promptings of his own evil inclination. If in the moment when the voice of desire is loudest within him, when the tempter is most busy, and all the sterner energies of human nature, panting for action, urge him on with a force that threatens to become irresistible, if at that moment, he can at once and effectually curb the inward tumult; if, by one effort of determined will, he can restore calmness to his agitated mind, and silence the clamour of his passions, by the reflection, · It is contrary to the will of God. If he can do this, then he is a hero; then, and then only, does the Sacred Volume bestow its praise on him, or deign to call him valiant. For it is far more difficult to overcome the foe within us, than to conquer armies; mightier is the effort required to curb our passions than to subjugate nations. And that courage which enables us to sacrifice our own vainglory, and the opinion of the world, to the glory of God, greatly exceeds the reckless daring which urges us on to any perilous undertaking."--Heb. Rev. vol. 2, p. 354.
Judged, by this standard, where is the greatness of Alexander? In this respect the world has agreed to ascribe the title of “Great" to the haughty, the proud, the ambitious, the warrior, and the daringly successful in crime ; but those only are “ great in the kingdom of heaven," that are lowly in self-esteem, contrite in view of their own nothingness, patient under the inflictions of evil-doers, peaceable and peacemakers in the midst of strife, unflinching in fortitude whilst seeking to promote works of righteousness, and persevering in every attempt to conform themselves to the moral likeness of God, whilst renouncing the tempting
seductions of sin and the profits of ungodliness. These are the characters that will answer to the description of these Jewish sages. These have learned the art of " living well,” because they have been taught to practise self-denial, and can “accustom themselves to privations” in an humble endeavour to promote the glory of God. These, too, know how to "render themselves beloved," because, instead of “assuming superiority over others,” they are ready to become all things to all men, in the benevolent desire to do good unto all; and those are the most happy” who use the power they possess, whether of property, talent, or influence, in promoting “the welfare of the universal family of man."
Scriptural greatness is moral goodness. Such is the greatness to which we wish our youths to aspire. Men will learn by the Gospel to form a different estimate of those whom the martial world has delighted to honour. The author of " The Philosphy of Missions " has passed a more correct judgment on Alexander the Great; he says that
“He rushed forth like a dragon to destroy mankind and desolate the earth. Nothing could satisfy his thirst for power, but the subjugation of the globe itself. He aspired to plant his blood-stained foot on the neck of all nations; and, when it was suggested that the number of worlds was infinite, he burst into tears because he could not ascend to the stars, and carry his conquests throughout creation. Such was Alexander, son of Philip, king of Macedon; and for these remorseless cruelties and dreadful crimes, men have called him Great! Great he, doubtless, was, but it was in wickedness. He seems like an angel of death, who, by some error in the operations of nature, had become incarnate, and received a commission to desolate the fairest portion of the earth, and to butcher its innocent inhabitants! He finished as became him. He crowned his sanguinary career of audacious ambition by actually claiming for himself divine honours! I marvel not that his claim was conceded by a benighted world. For intellectual power, for impetuous passion, for impious ambition, and for destructive genius, he has had no equal. Thus far, I grant that he was great; but my inquiry is, was he good? Was the world the better for his existence ? Did he promote the cause of human happiness? Did he advance one hairbreadth the progress of liberty and civilization ? Ah! it had been well for the nations of the east had he never been born. He deserved neither a tear, nor a tomb! He richly merited to be hissed off the stage of being, and driven into darkness by the curses of mankind! His name should have been blotted out of the vocabulary of their tongues, or, if retained, it ought never to have been pronounced but with execration and horror! In all respects, he was diametrically opposed to the spirit, principles, and procedure, of the Christian missionary. The one destroyed, the other builds up, the social edifice. The one imparts felicity, the other inflicted calamity. The presence of the missionary excites songs of gladness; the presence of the Warrior extorts groans of grief. The latter is a scourger, the former a comforter of mankind."
All our readers will not be called to be missionaries to foreign lands; but all ought to enter upon a mission of benevolence and Christian charity, to do good to all men as they have opportunity. We also shall rejoice if, by this communication, we may induce you to aim, not at being worldly *Great,” but morally " Good.”
WASHINGTON TURNED PHYSICIAN. “It must be, my child!" said the poor widow, wiping away the tears which slowly trickled down her wasted cheeks. There is no other resource. I am too sick to work, and you cannot, surely, see me and your little brother starve. Try and beg a few shillings, and perhaps by the time that is gone I may be better. Go, Henry, my dear: I grieve to send you on such an errand, but it must be done."
The boy, a noble-looking fellow of about ten years, started up, and, throwing his arms about his mother's neck, left the house without a word. He did not hear the groan
of anguish that was uttered by his parent as the door closed behind him; and it was well that he did not, for his little heart was ready to break without it. It was a by-street in Philadelphia, and as he walked to and fro on the side-walk, he looked first at one person and then at another, as they passed him, but no one seemed to look kindly at him, and the longer he waited the faster his courage dwindled away, and the more difficult it became to muster resolution to beg. The tears were running fast down his cheeks, but nobody noticed them, or, if they did, nobody seemed to care; for although clean, Henry looked poor and miserable, and it is common for the poor and miserable to cry.
Everybody seemed in a hurry, and the poor boy was quite in despair, when at last he espied a gentleman who seemed to be very leisurely taking a morning-walk. He was dressed in black, wore a three-cornered hat, and had a face that was as mild and benignant as an angel's. Somehow, when Henry looked at him, he felt all his fear vanish at once, and instantly approached him. His tears had been flowing so long that his eyes were quite red and swollen, and his voice trembled, but that was with weakness, for he had not eaten for twenty-four hours. As Henry, with a low, faltering voice, begged for a little charity, the gentleman stopped, and his kind heart melted with compassion as he looked into the fair countenance of the poor boy, and saw the deep blush which spread all over his face, and listened to the modest, humble tones which accompanied his petition.
“You do not look like a boy that has been accustomed to beg his bread,” said he, kindly laying his hand on the boy's shoulder : “what has driven you to this step?"
"Indeed,” answered Henry, his tears beginning to flow afresh, “ indeed I was not born in this condition. But the misfortunes of my father and the sickness of my mother have driven me to the necessity now."
“Who is your father ?” inquired the gentleman, still more interested.
“My father was a rich merchant of this city, but he became bondsman for a friend who soon after failed, and he was entirely ruined. He could not live after this loss, and