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BY CAROLINE M. BURROUGH.
the penal visitation for our sin of miserliness-the want of books.
This for ourselves in our adult age. But for our children. Would we affect, at this date of the world, to do aught for them, without access of books? Although one book is pre-eminent over every other-over all others-and although we were better read none other to the exclusion of that, yet such is not the condition of our privilege. That book inculcates upon us the implied use of others to give our minds to sobriety and reflection, and "the gathering of wisdom;" and not only the perfecting ourselves in holiness, but "all other fitting conversation."
WE often see a person grudge a book-the cost of a book. May be, the cost bears no proportion to its value. That idea, we are sorry to say, is always called /into account. Now, of all the luxuries in which we would indulge ourselves, books are, out of all comparison, the best worth their price. Nor should we, at large, refer them to the class of luxuries alone, delightful and improving though they are; yet to many of those even who are but partially acquainted with them, they are a necessity; and for such to be debarred of them, though not quite so imperious a craving as were the waiting of a dinner, yet is it a positive and ascertained want-such an one, too, as he who shall most fairly apprize, were fain to commute, and take a smaller or cheaper dinner and a larger book. Now this sort of person is exactly the one who shall not only find most satisfaction, but shall also make most advantage out of his book. You know, of course, that we speak of good books; for a bad one is unworthy the name of book, which, in common acceptation, implies instruction, delight, help, reference, improvement, progression, &c., &c., in what it affords, and no less of propriety and usefulness in what it claims, which is engrossment of leisure moments, the taking them away from the mischiefs of idleness, or the perils of dissipation; and the absorbing of our discontents, by the carrying us out of ourselves for ages upon a productive course of life, amidst society, time.
Our probation on the earth requires a progressive training of all the manifold faculties of our being; yet the sordid and narrow-hearted would go about providing for the body alone, even to the confining of the attention to its ministrations; and passing on from the industry which should amply supply all its wants, and more, would not spare from its accumulation the shilling that should buy a book, or the hour in which to read it. But this is a course in which the perishing and short-lived body hinders of intellectual advancement, narrows the sphere of a moral intercourse, or gainsays its winning and sympathetic influences, and finally devours the soul, by letting it perish for want of aliment; and all this to save money. Albeit, the Book says "wisdom is better than gold."
But let us not confine our attention to the intellectual gainings, or to the perfecting of character by this method. Let us present the negative, and show the disadvanta
as it is now constituted, and we shall see that there is Reading, by giving us a larger sight of the world, no furtherance in the plan-of doing without books. with its diversity of evils, enlarges our views, in a Let us look around this city of Cincinnati, and behold remedial sense; and in progress may extend to that its twenty-eight or thirty free schools. See the costly philosophy which shall suffice to wipe away the stains buildings erected to their accommodation, to the furof this irreverent sentiment, and to cure as well as heal. therance of mental and moral education. Add to Reading implies mental attention, which is one of the these the paying of salaries to the numerous teachers, most salutary habits of the mind, as well as one of the and many other incidental expenses. By all this we most winning in the sense of expediency. It implies shall see that it is the common sense of all who have a sobriety of reflection, which, by its own action, it tested the results of education, that education shall proshall constrain. Like many of the good gifts of God, gress, shall extend, shall claim a continued appropriation it is two-fold-both conservative and hindering-help- of the lesser good-money-to the object of the greating of good, and hindering of evil. Reading enlarges er good-knowledge. And this is not done without our charity by showing us how other minds, other com- books. Even these, may be, the public at need supmunities, other nations, have all and each some claim ply. We know of some few parents so besotted by to our toleration; and that, however different they be, meanness that they would fain throw this additional there yet exists some sympathy, some common bond charge, for their children's advantage, upon the public. of humanity, which we should respect by that charity An enlightened public would rather abide imposition, which "believeth all things," and "hopeth all things." rather supply two books falsely claimed, than miss of And shall we then want a book? The miser, with affording one really needed. And this not by benevogold in his coffers, starves for want of bread. He dies lence alone, but with a view to the future citizenship of inanition before nature would have called him; and of one child within its jurisdiction. And shall the it is a suicide! The physical life is not the only possible public be more awake to the true interest of such sacrifice. Have we a rusty dollar hoarded away, and an one than the parent himself? Our charity of inyet refuse to our mind the aliment which should nourish struction extends not at present beyond the school and sustain it? We could believe that by how much course. But if this is not followed out-and we warn it falls short of its possibilities of vigor, health, and san- parents on this point-if this is not followed up by ity, is just so much evidence of a natural retribution-reading-supposing books-the advantage already gain
ble-for we suppose he is able to read-if he follows out
ed will be very likely, nay, will be sure to decline. It will, like a neglected plant, around which ill weeds shall cluster, be by them stinted and starved of its own sufficient nourishment, and will eventually, perhaps, perish in their noxious embraces. School education, we say, should be followed up by reading. Have books a plenty. They yield a better return than any other investment. It is not one book or one subject that shall constitute you well informed, or make you wise. And a second book, however diverse the subject, shall aid and add to the first. And you can hardly read any two that shall not, either by likeness or by contrast, or by methods of comparison, in your own mind, bear upon each other, and assist to the elucidation of the specific subject of each book, perhaps. But certainly they shall aid in your own mental culture. If you shall only say to yourself, "From this hive I took much pure honey, whilst from that I gathered nothing but bee bread;" yet the bee bread, though not honey, is of some worth. Perhaps you will speculate, too, and find how to choose your hive on another occasion. You may learn to know what causes the difference in the proportion of the one to the other in different hives-whether the producers are inferior, or whether the accidents of location, climate, food, or whatever caused; and whatever did eith-men. They are not only prepared and suited, as well er perfect or impoverish it, you, by your inquiry, shall be enriched.
All this to the adult, the father may be; but for his child we are far more importunate and exacting. The present age affords not the same excuse as we have reluctantly conceded to those which are past. Books are now plenty-home-made books by our own country
The child who is rich, probably born to the inheritance of wealth, should be guarded from selfishness and tamed from the wantonness of indulgence by books.
as may be, to the many, but they are proffered and sent. Every facility is afforded which is at all proper. We Because we read much, we need not therefore be are sometimes almost led to suspect that this very readischolars by profession. The number is very small of ness of obliging is misconstrued or meanly mistrusted such-in our country, as yet, so very small that the pro- in its motive; and that the unwise inference, whilst portion should be only as that of fractions to integers. || working out its own ungainly and ungaining conseAnd that it is not our intention to affect learning, may quence, by refusing or undervaluing the good, which be a proof of our modesty, or of our judgment. But if is too easy of attainment, is often the only motive we shall decide to do without any, to remain ignorant, against its acceptance. Such a person-one who can or even to rest for ever in the rudimental classes of so act-is not well informed or wise, and such is exactlearners, it shall be a proof, a positive proof, of our stu-ly the class who most need instruction. But we would pidity. The adult who shall so decide for himself, hav- admonish with consideration and disinterestedness. ing as yet made very small progression, has, perhaps in his own case, the extenuation of habit, and the half allowed and puerile claiming of shame-the false shame of arraying himself amidst his juniors of anoth-The child who is poor, should, from his toils, his tears, er generation in the school class. Also, we make to him the partial concession that he "can make out" as well as others of his date and opportunities, &c., &c. This excuses him to them, but has no sort of bearing upon his own inconvenience. And, after all, if he will look close enough, he will find that the only real obstacle in the case is his disinclination. Just as well, too, if he would acknowledge it, will he know that being more ignorant than most others is constantly a source of more or less disadvantage to him; not perhaps to the precise matters of business, of the practical details of knowledge, as regards arrangements and things though in relation to these he will not fail, first or last, to perceive his mistake-but it is in the appreciation in which he is held by others, yes, even the honest appre-all the handling and shaping of utensils for the workciation of the respectable and the good, in the stand men-all the discoveries of organized powers-all the which he can take, and is compelled to keep, that he shifting of burdens from human shoulders to the mighshall most keenly feel, most bitterly regret his untoward tier might of the beasts of brawn-all new invented negligence of self. If he is pious, and reads his Bi-levers, which one flash of genius has afforded ("after
and his depression, be rewarded and gratified by books. And those who stand between these two classes, and are neither rich nor poor, shall yet have the cominon sense to perceive that no position, personal or relative, exempts him from his obligation of gratitude to books. All the classes of our republican country shall find that the true and efficient secret of a fair and genuine equality shall be worked out by the agency of books.
Books are not a holyday—a parlor window-a showtable matter only, but they are made to comprehend all of common as of uncommon things-all subjects and treatings of useful labor-all mechanical and agricultural experiment—all methods and improvements in manufactures-all management and details of trade
Yet we do not put our book before the living Friend, nor attempt to compare it with the consolations to which we have access from that omnipotent Helper who is ever anigh, and "knows how to pity us." We may read another and yet another book, and new subjects shall grow out of those which you would deem were perfected in the former book.
The "sciences" are said to be "a circle," and we are told so closely and so necessarily interwoven, that they would seem to have signed the "round robin." And who, in the munificent variety of mental apprehensions bestowed on man, shall be able to say where they com
years of study," and of books though) to the colossal || plexity no confidence is imparted, and none betrayed. purposes of architecture-of navy structures-of ocean lights-of the canal with its locks-of the thousands of aids and inventions of which we know not the uses nor the names. And yet for ourself when we contemplate the beauties, the treasures, the infinite riches of books, our heart warms within us; and we feel that life has yet a resource and an interest remaining to us. We have a privilege, too. We select our acquaintances and our friends from the "salt of the earth" yet present; and from the multitude of those who, having passed beyond, "yet live," their deathless genius bestowed upon all who will accept it-to delight and to cheer and other some, whose piety, a sweet savor, as-menced-where they best end! But end they do not. cends for ever and for ever, towards that heaven from As they have been graciously accorded to man, during whence they came and went. the series of ages, the light of one mind has sufficed to Books are a medium of reform, no less, certainly, than guide and arouse some succeeding intelligence to the furis the temperance act. We remember the time it was be-therance of a fullness not yet completed, and which lieved that there was no hospitality, no welcome, without the wine cup-the days of side-boards, with their indiscreet array of bottles; and we remember, too, the effect, the direct consequence upon many of the sons of the house. Lured by this free access, they partook, often ruinously, of what was always within their reach. And no less apparent, though with hope, instead of shame, shall be the effects of a free access to books. We have no good auguries for the house or the familying incompetent to the high vocation! But one, the that is not supplied with books. Being present with your children, they give immediate invitation, which shall not be always refused-they urge a claim to the eye which it shall be harder to resist than if not personally presented. By a slight acquaintanceship at first, the strangeness and distance is diminished and worn off-soon they shall become familiar and confidential friends, and take good counsel together.
Book shelves are a very significant piece of furniture. We never go into a house of poverty, a poor, scanted house, but what the sight of books-some, the sort, the number, the care, importing how valuedseem to us the surest index, as they are the most significant token, of the present, the continued, and the future respectability of the occupant.
We respect industry, but we should think it sordid, should it circumscribe within too narrow limits our attention to books. Under almost any circumstances an hour each day may be found to appropriate to reading. When we consider that the mind or intellect is one of the three or four grand components of our being, it would seem to us no superinduced indulgence, but a natural necessity, that we read. And although there are other methods of mental culture, apart from this, yet is reading the most universally accessible and easy one. Colloquial intercourse, supposing it would answer the purpose, is not always convenient or agreeable. However secluded, fatigued, or dispirited we may be, the book is neither impertinent or unwelcome. If its tone suit us not, we can, without offense, exchange it for another. No jealousy is excited, no resentment provoked; but its harmonious and friendly tone shall sympathize of our dejection, or abate of our chagrin. In our per
one age, or even one century, was not sufficient to elucidate, so do we infer that science and its mental truth are progressive, and shall continue to be afforded to man so long as man, in his physical existence, is permitted to inhabit the earth. This, we firmly believe, will continue to be done, but not without books.
How many classes of sciences, how many topics connected with our subject have we left untouched, be
simplest, it is thought, seems to us quite the most wonderful acquisition of which we are capable-so much so, indeed, and of so paramount consequence is it to us, that we must believe it to be the especial gift of Heaven; and as such, we would say, there can be no veneration in refusing it, or neglecting its use. True it is that this method is derived to us by the agency of human intelligences; yet when we consider how very wonderful it is, that yet of necessity it is rudimental, and that the simplest attain to it, our admiration and our gratitude are still increased. That, without the aid of previous science, we should be enabled to commence the arch, and afford the keystone of all science, is matter of inexplicable thought. And that this idea is not appreciated, but, like the stars of heaven, is slighted, not derogating from its greatness, or its immensity, but simply-simply enough-because use has familiarized us to them and to it, yet no less do we owe the gratitude of assumption and improvement of this means so graciously bestowed upon us. A Book was given, and the power to read.
SENSIBLE Women have often been the dupes of the designing, in the following way: they have taken an opportunity of praising them to their own confidant, but with a solemn injunction to secrecy. The confidant, however, as they know, will infallibly inform her principal the first moment she sees her; and this is a mode of flattery which always succeeds. Even those females who nauseate flattery in any other shape, will not reject it in this; just as we can bear the light of the sun without pain when reflected by the moon.
CHRIST'S SENTIENT CHARACTER.
ings and circumstances of his followers. A friend sympathizes with us, only when he fully understands our trials and joys; has been, or can imagine himself in the same circumstances with ourselves. By Christ's sentient character, I mean that capability on his part, that enables him to put himself, like a kind and tender friend, into our very circumstances-to see with our eyes, and to feel with our hearts.
Original. CHRIST'S SENTIENT CHARACTER. How dizzying the thought, when one tries to encompass a conception that is infinite! When the mind stretches off in the far distance seeking the boundary of space, unsuccessful, it returns bewildered alike by the vastness of infinity, and by its own impotency. So, too, when it thinks on and on, trying to find some limit to boundless eternity, it recoils back within itself, It is a marked difference between our religion and all vaguely uncertain, whether, after so mighty yet fruit- other religions, constituting the beauty and glory of the less an effort, it be able to comprehend any thing. In- former, that it is rational. True, Christianity has its crease the difficulty by a union of infinites, and we see mysteries, which eternity alone will reveal to us. But why Zophar, the Naamathite, exclaimed, "Canst thou these mysteries, unlike those of the heathen gods, are find out the Almighty unto perfection?" not revealed to a few to be a matter of gain; not made known, like the Delphian oracles, vaguely, and at certain localities; nor arising from any contrariety of character in its Founder. But they result rather from our inability fully to comprehend that character; and, in fact, diminishing in proportion as it is understood. Yet notwithstanding the mysteries of the Christian religion, it is still a religion to be understood, felt, and appreciated. Its Head thinks, knows, hates, loves, pities, feels, and sympathizes. Man's nature demands this last, among other characteristics of Deity. Else why have any, with their distorted view of God, feared that they would be overlooked, uncared for, and on that ground refused to love him? They have felt that a God, whom they could love, must be one who has something in common with themselves-one who could and would regard the inward workings of their mind; feel for them-cheer them when afflicted, and succor them when tempted. How cold and heartless is that religion which does not represent its Deity as sympathizing with his followers. The mythology of the heathen shows that such a capability on the part of God is a demand of our nature. Hence their Penates and tutelar divinities, which presided over man in all his variety of circumstance: and, because they deemed their passions a part of the true nature of their soul, hence their deities of passion.
It will be far in eternity, if the point can ever be attained, when the idea of God will occupy its own mighty place in the human mind. It may seem strange that a character so distinctly marked, so permanent, so fully manifested, should not be perfectly understood. Perhaps it would not be so, were there other characters like his, with which we were daily familiar. We have no stepping-stones by which to attain the height. His character is so uncommon, so different, so perfectly unique, that we have nothing with which to compare it; and consequently it comes up before the mind as a thing so strange, that the mind cannot familiarize itself with it. If the mind is prone to sensuousness, it seeks some outward manifestation of God-something with which it can associate such characteristics as it attributes to God. And this for the same reason that some need the insignia of royalty thrown around a man, that their feelings of reverence and obedience may be called forth; so difficult find they it to look upon law itself as something to be obeyed. If, on the other hand, the mind be given to abstraction, it thinks of God as some fixed principles or laws governing all nature, physical, intellectual and moral. Hence the two extremes, of down-right idolatry on the one side; and on the other,|| modern Unitarianism, or Pantheism. How almost interminable the grade between them! On some one of these grades we stand; for all have some idea of God,| even though it be as vague and indistinct as its origin is. Its origin is so; for, if we question ourselves as to its origin, we can only say-the first we knew of the idea of God it was familiar to our minds. It never came up before the mind as something new.
Power, intelligence, and a moral character, are attributed to God by all; though the moral character will be modified somewhat by the different views of morality entertained by different persons. Some, even when enlightened by Revelation, extol one attribute above another, as may best suit their conduct. They accommodate their theology to their course of life, rather than conform the latter to their theology; and thus consciously do violence to their being.
There is one view of the character of Christ, which, if true, ought to be entertained. It may be styled his sentient character; by which I mean, not his capability of perceiving intellectually, but of feeling, sympathizing with others, or rather, fully appreciating the feel
Do we find all this in the character of Christ? We have but to turn to his life for an answer. Assuming our physical nature, it might rationally be supposed that he would have all our innocent feelings antecedent to volition, and many of those consequent on volition. This supposition is fully corroborated by the history of his life. I will allude to a few of the exhibitions of these feelings, that have come down to us. He felt the force of the appeal, when the devil requested him to allay his hunger by a miracle. And he knows and fully appreciates the trial, when any of his children refuse, from principle, to gratify their desires. The gratification of every propensity of his nature came up before his mind, as a good to be accepted, or refused. "He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin." His desires were awakened, his susceptibilities were aroused. There was the excitement-the temptationevery thing of sin, but itself.
When we have freed ourselves from passion, and taken a calm survey of the relations we sustain to God—
see the propriety of doing and feeling right-conform | should have inferred that such was his character from
our idea of God. To deal with us as the circumstances require, he must know fully our character. This can be known only by perfectly understanding all that passes within our hearts. That he may be able to assist us in difficulty, cheer us in despondency, and succor us in temptation, he must take cognizance of all those
may have the moral character we attribute to him, he
to this obligation, and our hearts become filled with love to our Savior; we think, in conversing with those who are disobedient, that a godly life must seem of as much importance in their mind as it does in ours-that the temptations of this world are no more alluring to them, than they are to us. So, too, when we become enlisted in a particular cause, or interested in a particu-trials and temptations with which we meet. That he lar person, we deem all cold-hearted who do not have the same warm feelings in our cause and friend as we do. It was not so with Christ. If any, he might be supposed to have made a correct estimate between the good afforded by the service of God and that of Mam-up fond hopes and long cherished plans, that he may mon. Yet, when the "young man" came to him in- do his duty, Christ knows and appreciates the sacriquiring what he should do to obtain eternal life, he did fice he makes, and notes with interest all the trials of not chide him for his attachment to his property, though his after life. In his darkest hours the Christian need he regretted it. Christ saw how much of a good, wealth not be discouraged. Though his case may seem to appeared to the young man's mind. He saw the force him hopeless-every thing combined against him, so of his attachment, though he disapproved of it; pitied that the safety of his soul seems to be at the mercy of the "young man" for the delusion he had thrown a host of passions, though he has become so bewildered as around his own mind, and loved him for his amiability. scarcely to recognize the distinction between right and When Christ first visited his friends in Bethany after wrong-yet he may feel assured that Christ knows all the death of their brother Lazarus, how affectionate ||his trials, was himself tempted, and is abundantly able were his condolences! How tenderly he sympathized with them in their deep affliction! When he met Martha, he tried to comfort her with the hope of a glorious resurrection. But when Mary and her friends came, and the image of their lost friend was so vividly called up by a recollection of the meetings he had had with them, "Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled." And when they gathered around the grave of Lazarus, and saw where he lay, "Jesus wept." He knew that the lifeless form before them, now so cold and still, would soon be animated; and flush with life, would be receiving the affectionate embrace of his sisters. But this chilled not his sympathy, nor deadened his commisseration for his afflicted friends.
Though he knew it was right, and entirely in accordance with the principles of his government-even conducive to his glory-that the Jews, a nation so loved of God, should meet the doom they had merited; yet he could not look on with indifference, when he saw all the evils impending over their devoted city. "And when he came near, he beheld the city, and wept over it."
When he was about to consummate that one act in which the world was so deeply interested-the sacrifice of himself-he alluded again to this painful subject. It was when he was passing from Jerusalem to Calvary: "And there followed him a great multitude of people and women, who also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me; but weep for yourselves." He rightly understood their expression of kindly feelings, and sympathized with them in their coming sorrows. Look at his solicitude for his parent, as, when enduring the agony of the crucifixion, he made provision for her temporal maintenance.
But had we no such record of his life, or rather, had his biographers been entirely silent on this point, we
and willing to succor the tempted, desponding Chris-
Western Reserve College.
And crowds, that leave the heart alone;
How longs my soul to come to Thee!
To live on joys which cannot die.
Why should my lingering spirit doubt?
Why from its "Rest" a moment rove?
I come! I come! the conflict's o'er;
I linger on the plain no more;
I seek my rest, my home, my Lord;
I rise where, always on the wing,
A cloud of saints adore their King.