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HYMNS FOR THE PEOPLE.
BY CARLOS B. STUART.
Not for crowns and gilded places
Where life’s fragrant feet have trod,
Is the noble man of God!
He, who on his garments beareth
Not of guile, and not of stain,
Prouder than the diamond chain.
Lip to speak that never feareth,
Boldly o'er the head of wrong;
Virtue's altar, ever strong.
These, with deeds of earnest trial,
Are the only marks I scan
Worthy of the noble man !
O'er your kings, are skies serener
Than have beamed on harvest fields
Than for those to whom it yields ?
If, to stride the steeds of battle,
If to plunder realms opprest,
Of the sickle bravely prest;
Then, the monarchdoms of ages,
Titles true are they to fame;
Are the kings of boasted name!
But if to be noble, we are
To be earnest, good, and true, Firmer faith'd and ever freer,
Titles, castles, Kings, adieu !
In the strength of God's own spirit,
Doing, as we have, and can; Acting what we all inherit,
Then is each a noble man!
They raise, who bravely front the strife,
And they who calmly watch and wait; Who nobly bide, and bear through life
The smile of scorn, the curse of hate!
Whose law is, yet, a stronger chain
Than cells where-task men sit above; Who less than smite, and yet restrain
Their foemen by the strength of love!
God in each heart, God on each tongue,
God in the earnest deed and thought, Sublimer far than steel hath flung
To dust the chains by tyrants wrought !
Occasion, is their battle-time;
The world, their camp and tented field ; Their foes, not men, but guilt and crime,
Their only motto, never yield !
Still conquering, by the simplest tear
Or smile, they lead the captive soul, And only triumph while they cheer
The vanquished to the victor's goal!
Think ye, by the sweat that trickles
From the dark and furrowed brow, That the poor, are only peasants
Who at toil's low altar bow ?
Ha! he is a prince in spirit
Who hath scorned the toil of slaves; Who, with nerves we all inherit,
Boldly storm and struggle braves !
He, the meanest, lowest vassal,
Who to labor not his own, Owes the stature of his castle,
Or the splendor of his throne !
There are but two human altars,
Body, and the soul divine ;
Is a mocker at the shrine.
Deeds of toil are for the outer,
Deeds of love are for the soul; He, alone, is only stouter
Who is struggling for each goal.
Think ye, rags that clothe the bosom
Bar the noble soul within
Underneath a toiler's skin ?
Who have reared your proudest pillars
Heaved the bounds of empire on : Fought your battles, been earth's tillers,
Till the last of goals were won ?
E'en these ragged sweating toilers,
E'en these lowly poor ye scorn! Scum are ye, ignoble spoilersToilers ye,
the noblest born!
Let the sweat-drop jewels sparkle
From the crown of God I wear, And whatever storms may darkle,
Kings ! I'm prouder than ye are !
For by these good hands so given
And this giant soul within ; I can stand where ye are riven,
Feel the pomp ye cannot win!
THE GUILT OF CONTEMPT.
BY HENRY GILES.
CONTEMPT, contempt of humanity in any form of man, is a great sin. This is the doctrine of Jesus: That man is of worth infinite and ineffable, is the spirit of his teaching, of his practice, of his life; the import of his mission, the significance of his passion and his death : and, therefore, to trample this worth in scorn, is to count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing ; to commit one of the darkest offences known in the ethics of the Gospel.
We may trace the guilt of contempt in the evil of its temper. Of course, I do not speak, here, of that sense of unworthiness which we cannot help feeling for what is vile and degrading : I speak of that harsh disposition in which contempt is a habit or a principle. Thus considered, it is evil, and always evil. It cannot, for a moment, clothe itself with the vesture or appearance of an angel. It has the essence of a moral atheism, and of all atheisms this is the worst. If atheism of mere intellect be possible, it does not necessarily exclude some broken aspirations. A speculative atheism is conceivable, which could recognize separate elements of excellence, and separately appreciate them; and though, unhappily astray from a supreme object, has at least, in chaos, the substance of reverence and devotion. It may have ideals of beauty, of truth, of power, and of goodness; and, while it does not confess the Personality of God, unconsciously, it may do honor to his attributes. But so it is not with moral atheism; and practically, contempt leaves the heart without a God. It wants all the faculties which have affinity with the godlike. Contempt has no faculty of admiration. It apprehends only inferiority and abasement; and apprehends them only with partiality and falsehood. It is unable to discern honorable and honest qualities visible and distinct-much less the claims of mere humanity-when concealed by many obscurations. If perchance, it must look on that which cannot be hidden-and acknowledge that which cannot be denied; it looks with no complacency, and it acknowledges with no affection. Presuming as it does, to spurn others, as unworthy; it is wholly ignorant
of that which constitutes the deepest unworthiness. Until we have understood the capacities of a nature, we cannot measure its abuses ;-until we have fathomed its capability for excellence, we know little of its ruin in transgression. The malignity of sin is revealed only to the soul, when it has comprehended the divinity of goodness. But from such comprehension the spirit of contempt is excluded by the malediction of its own bitterness. Contempt has, therefore, no faculty of reverence. It has no sense of greatness--no sense of beauty. It has no faith in the spiritual, and no trust in the human : it believes not in the immutability of truth-it confides not in the omnipotence of right. It has, of consequence, neither saints nor heroes, neither martyrs nor patriots; but lives unfavored in the seclusion of its own dark and godless being. A gloomy spirit is this--a spirit misanthropic—a spirit of denial : it has no altar, it has no worship; it has not even the wretched worship of idolatry. In a grand and pure worship, the soul is lifted up, drawn away from self, and absorbed in the glory of its object. It does not so much reflect on it, as it exists in it: in it lives, moves, and has its being. Hence supreme worship must have its element in the infinite and perfect-and that is, in the one true, and only God. That which creates us, we worship; but that which we create, ourselves, that in which we find ourselves embodied, we idolize. But though idolatry embodies self, yet it is self projected-self taking some outward semblance.
The savage carves a piece of wood into the image which his fears have shaped; the Grecian sculptor chisels a piece of marble into a form which the highest fancy has conceived ; and both the barbarian and the Greek thus embody a portion of their own being in some independent and outward existence. Contempt does not get even so far as this; but broods over its own chaos, enthroned on its own pride. Contempt has no faculty of love. It is subversive of all amiable relations; for these relations can only co-exist with perceptions of goodness and beauty, and without such perceptions they must perish. Contempt excludes them in every idea we can form of it: it has no such perceptions, and admits no such relations. To hold an object in love and yet contempt, to despise and yet desire, to appreciate and yet scorn, is a contradiction so strange and so absurd, that it could never enter any sane imagination. To the degree then, that we place our neighbor before us, as an object of contempt, we cut him off from all the best charities of our hearts : we render him an outcast from all the holy offices of fraternity. As a natural result, this disposition must be fatal to every brotherly sympathy; for, of all antagonisms, scorn is the most repulsive. I do not say that even scorn may not be melted by the last necessities of want, and that, in extremity, it would stand between a sufferer