Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


pon the

on. A

her vis

ch con

on. In

ad shel-

felt his

1 whose
hile his

hich re-

ook La

he tomb

ained in

mage to st as he ⚫ scarcely ich it is dodded ne withler who

ant arms

we apescended

er re-apHe took

he tomb,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



this view, an involuntary and spontaneous movement made us kneel. We landed in boats, and trod upon the MOUNT VERNON is situated on the west bank of ground so often trod by the feet of Washington. A the Potomac river, in Virginia, about seven miles carriage received General Lafayette; and the other visbelow Alexandria, and seventeen miles below Wash-itors silently ascended the precipitous path which conington City. The plantation is large, but the view of || ducted to the solitary habitation of Mount Vernon. In it from the river is confined. The bank rises too ab- re-entering beneath this hospitable roof, which had shelruptly to admit of an extended prospect. The fam- tered him when the reign of terror tore him violently ily residence is in fair view of the traveler as he passes from his country and family, George Lafayette felt his on the river. It is a large plain building, with scarcely heart sink within him, at no more finding him whose any pretensions to architectural ornament or magnifi- paternal care had softened his misfortunes; while his cence. It is accommodated, rather than graced with a father sought with emotion for every thing which repiazza of its own full two stories height, whose plain | minded him of the companion of his glorious toils. columns indicate that this appendage is strictly for com- "Three nephews of General Washington took Lafort and not for show. The grounds around present a fayette, his son, and myself, to conduct us to the tomb very pleasing aspect, ornamented as they are with of their uncle: our numerous companions remained in grass, trees, and shrubbery. Yet they do not impress the house. In a few minutes the cannon, thundering the spectator with the idea of special pains, or skill, or anew, announced that Lafayette rendered homage to taste, on the part of the occupant of the estate. The the ashes of Washington. Simple and modest as he following sketch, copied from a description which now was during life, the tomb of the citizen hero is scarcely lies before us, will give the reader a correct idea of the perceived among the sombre cypresses by which it is appearance of these grounds, and of the tomb of surrounded. A vault, slightly elevated and dodded Washington: | over-a wooden door without inscriptions-some with"The vault in which the ashes of Washington re-ered and green garlands, indicate to the traveler who pose, is at the distance of, perhaps, thirty rods from the house, immediately upon the bank of the river. A more romantic and picturesque site for a tomb can scarcely be imagined. Between it and the Potomac is a curtain of forest-trees, covering the steep declivity to the water's edge, breaking the glare of the prospect, and yet affording glimpses of the river, where the foliage is thickest. The tomb is surrounded by several large native oaks, which are venerable by their years, and which annually strew the sepulchre with autumnal It has been urged by many admirers of the immortal leaves, furnishing the most appropriate drapery for the Washington, that the Mount Vernon estate ought to place, and giving a still deeper impression to the me- be purchased by the government, and brought into a mento mori. Interspersed among the oaks, and over-form of perfect order, and of high and elegant improvehanging the tomb, is a copse of red cedar, whose ever-ment. To the purchase there can be no objection, ungreen boughs present a fine contrast to the hoary and leafless branches of the oak; and while the deciduous foliage of the latter indicates the decay of the body, the eternal verdure of the former furnishes a fitting emblem of the immortal spirit. The sacred and symbolic cassia was familiar to Washington, and, perhaps, led to the selection of a spot where the evergreen flourished.

[blocks in formation]

visits the spot, where rest in peace the puissant arms which broke the chains of his country. As we approached, the door was opened. Lafayette descended alone into the vault, and a few minutes after re-appeared, with his eyes overflowing with tears. He took his son and me by the hand, and led us into the tomb, where, by a sign, he indicated the coffin. We knelt reverentially, and rising, threw ourselves into the arms of Lafayette, and mingled our tears with his.'"

less it be on political grounds. But we do not think it would be in good taste to remodel the improvements, and blot out the traces which it bears of the private life and domestic walks of the father of his country. If any thing be desirable, it is to see fifty or one hundred acres, surrounding the domicil of the hero, inclosed by an iron fence, so fashioned that it will guard these walks. But let the improvements be preserved in their original form. Public monuments can be erected elsewhere, to attest a nation's gratitude, and perpetuate the fame of him whom the nation delights to honor. But let the remains of Washington repose in that rustic vault, re-edified, when necessary, in its present form, as long as the republic endures. It will be a rebuke to the pride of the world, and thus will he, being dead, still speak.






causing the shapeless iron to assume the form which he designs-he says, that is human power. Or he points him to the majestic city raising a thousand spires to the sun, and says, "Mark these streets, these walls, these cathedrals, these towers-they are the results of human power." Does he wish to teach him human wisdom? He may point to the philosopher calculating the eclipses and stations of the heavenly bodies for far distant years, and to the accuracy of a moment, and say, this is human wisdom. Or perhaps he takes him to observe the steamer, with her proud pendant floating in the breeze, freighted with the merchandise of a city and the population of a territory; yet buffeting the

RELIGION carries her own bliss with her. There are flowers enough in all her paths to attract and reward the traveler. Were there no world of light to which the heaven-born pilgrim tends, wisdom would still point with undeviating index to religion's ways of pleasantness-to religion's paths of peace. There are no hills like the hills of Zion; there are no songs like the songs of Israel; there are no joys like the joys of the redeemed. How great is the happiness of the Christian! || winds and surmounting the billows, and progressing to This is seen even in his trains of thought. "I meditate," says the Psalmist, "on all thy works: I muse on the work of thy hands."

its destined port with unerring prow! and explaining to him the machinery by which the results are accomplished, he says, this is human wisdom. Thus would a father teach his son God's power. Let him take him out in the freshness of the morning, and open his eye upon the sun issuing from the chambers of the east to spread light upon the mountains; or let him lead him to the contemplation of the midnight heavens, and show him the Most High walking among the stars as a shepherd among his flocks. Would you learn what is meant by Divine wisdom? Go view the ordinances of heaven-or look into your own wonderfully and fearfully made frame. Would you learn lessons of Di

Religion attracts her votaries into the sublimest walks of external nature. There can be no theology without philosophy. I do not mean to be understood that the Christian must have a library and a telescope, and an herbarium and a laboratory; that he must be confined to the study; that he must spend his days in experiments, and his nights amid books. There is an artificial philosophy and a natural philosophy. The one traces the laws by which the world is governed, the other surveys the world itself; the former busies itself with explanations, the other with facts; one is intellec-vine goodness? Go to the green of earth, or the freshtual drudgery, the other mental pleasure. The mere philosopher concerns himself with the former, the mere Christian may enjoy the latter. The courtier in Shakspeare asks the shepherd: "Have you studied natural philosophy?" "O yes," says the shepherd, "my philosophy is all natural. I know it is the property of water to wet, and of fire to burn-that good pasture makes fat sheep; that he that lacks money, means, and content, lacks three good things." This affords an amusing illustration of the foregoing remark. Have you never reflected, gentle reader, how slight was the difference between the peasant and the sage; that the great field of important facts lies open to both; that the one contents himself with isolated truths, the other generalizes?

ness of ocean; to the beauties of spring, the glories of summer, the fruits of autumn, the fetters of winter; to the gentle dew that distills upon the tender grass; to the refreshing showers, and revolving seasons, filling the earth with joy and gladness. Would you know God's providential care? "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin, yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." "Behold the fowls of the air; they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly father feedeth them."

Nature cannot lead us to God without Revelation The condition of the heathen world teaches this. Yet Revelation does not attempt to lead us to God, but through the medium of nature. She points to the works of God at her very portals. She opens the way for her glorious truths through the heavens and the earth. Her first page describes the creation. She shows us light issuing from the Creator's fiat-the firmament stretching itself out in the midst of the watersthe seas gathering together to their appointed places, and the dry land rising at the Creator's bidding-the earth bringing forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the tree

Having premised thus much, we return to our propo- || sition, that there can be no true theology without philosophy-and proceed to observe, that God is the Alpha and Omega of all theology. His attributes are natural and moral. Power and wisdom are the chief of the former; justice and mercy the foundations of the latter. Can Almighty power and wisdom be learned as a lesson in the spelling book? To be understood they must be illustrated. It need scarcely be said that words are arbi-shedding fruit-the lights taking their appointed statrary sounds-that they must be associated with the tions in the firmament-the fruitful waters bringing ideas they are intended to convey, or they are destitute forth abundantly-the moving creature that hath life, of meaning. Does a father wish to teach his son the and fowl that may fly in air. Then she presents the meaning of human power? He takes him where he earth bringing forth living creatures, cattle, and creepmay witness its operations-perchance he takes him to ing things, and beasts of the earth, after his kind. Fithe blacksmith-shop, and while he shows him the arm nally she shows man coming forth from the hand of of the artizan raising the ponderous hammer, and bring-God-in his image, after his likeness, invested with doing it down upon the anvil, and by repeated strokes minion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air,

« AnteriorContinuar »