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LIFE IS WHAT WE MAKE IT.—Okville Dewey.
"Unto the pure, are all things pure."
Life is what we make it. To some, this may appear to be a very singular, if not extravagant statement. You look upon this life and upon this world, and you derive from them, it may be, a very different impression. You see the earth perhaps, only as a collection of blind, obdurate, inexorable elements and powers. You look upon the mountains that stand fast forever; you look upon the seas that roll upon every shore their ceaseless tides; you walk through the annual round of the seasons; all things seem to be fixed,— summer and winter, seed-time and harvest, growth and decay,—and so they are.
But does not the mind spread its own hue over all these scenes? Does not the cheerful man make a cheerful world? Does not the sorrowing man make a gloomy world? Does not every mind make its own world? Does it not, as if indeed a portion of the Divinity were Imparted to it, almost create the scene around it? Its power, in fact, scarcely falls short of the theory of those philosophers, who have supposed that the world had no existence at all, but in our own minds.
So again with regard to human life;—it seems to many, probably, unconscious as they are of the mental and moral powers which control it, as if it were made up of fixed conditions, and of immense and impassable distinctions. But upon all conditions presses down one impartial law. To all situations, to all fortunes, high or low, the mind gives their character. They are in effect, not what they are in themselves, but what they are to the feelings of their possessors.
The king upon his throne and amidst his court, may be a mean, degraded, miserable man; a slave to ambition, to voluptuousness, to fear, to every low passion. The peasant in his cottage, may be the real monarch,—the moral master of his fate,—the free and lofty being, more than a prince in happiness, more than a king in honor. And shall the mere names which these men bear, blind us to the actual position which they occupy amidst God's creation? No: beneath the all-powerful law of the heart, the master is often the slave; and the slave is the master.
It is the same creation, upon which the eyes of the cheerful and the melancholy man are fixed; yet how different lire the aspects which it bears to them! To the one it is all beauty and gladness; "the waves of ocean roll in light, and the mountains are covered with day." It Jseems to him as if life went forth, rejoicing upon every bright wave, and every shining bough, shaken in the breeze. It seems as if there were more than the eye seeth; a presence of deep joy among the hills and the valleys, and upon the bright waters.
But the gloomy man, stricken and sad at heart, stands idly or mournfully gazing at the same scene, and what is it to him? The very light,—
"Bright effluence of bright essence increate,"
yea, the very light seems to him as a leaden pall thrown over the face of nature. All things wear to his eye a dull, dim, and sickly aspect. The great train of the seasons is passing before him, but he sighs and turns away, as if it were the train of a funeral procession; and he wonders within himself at the poetic representations and sentimental rhapsodies that are lavished upon a world so utterly miserable.
Here then, are two different worlds, in which these two classes of beings live; and they are formed and made what they are, out of the very same scene, only by different states of mind in the beholders. The eye makcth that which it looks upon. The car maketh its own melodies or discords. The world without reflects the world within.
Every disposition and behavior has a kind of magnetic attraction, by which it draws to itself, its like. Selfishness will hardly be a center, round which the benevolent affections will revolve; the cold-hearted may expect to be treated with coldness, and the proud with haughtiness; the passionate with anger, and the violent with rudeness; those who forget the rights of others, must not be surprised if their own are forgotten; and those who forget their dignity, who stoop to the lowest embraces of sense, must not wonder, if others are not concerned to find their prostrate honor, and to lift it up to the remembrance and respect of the world.
To the gentle, how many will be gentle; to the kind,how many will be kind! How many does a lovely example win to goodness! How many does meekness subduo to a like temper, when they come into its presence! How many does sanctity purify! How many does it command to put away all earthly defilements, when they step into its presence! Yes, a good man will find that there is goodness in the world ; an honest man will find that there is honesty ; a man of principle will find a principle of religious integrity in the hearts of others.
There are no blessings which the mind may not convert into the bitterest of evils; and there are no trials which it may not transform into the most noble and divine of blessings. There are no temptations, from which the virtue they assail, may not gain strength, instead of falling a sacrifice to their power.
THE BEST COW IN PERIL.
Old farmer B. is a stingy man,
He keeps all he gets and gets all he can;
By all his friends he is said to be
As tight as the bark on a young birch tree;
He goes to church and he rents a pew,
But the dimes that he gives to the Lord are few;
If he gets to heaven with the good and great,
He will be lot in through the smallest gate.
Now, farmer B., besides drags and plows,
"What do the city folks know about milk?
One night it was dark—oh! fearfully dark;
And a voice cried out with a hasty breath,
"Your best cow, neighbor, is choking to death."
Clipping off the end of a rousing snore,
"I will give a dime," cried farmer B.,
With a scowl on his face and a shaking head,
When he went to water his milk next day,
The midnight voice seemed again to say,
As he pumped away with a panting breath:
"Your best cow, neighbor, is choking to death."
The meaning of this he soon found out,
For a stone was driven in the old pump's spout.
Old farmer B., when he drives to town,
HUMBLE AND UNNOTICED VIRTUE.—Hannah Morb
O my son!
THE WELCOME.—Thomas Davis.
Come in the evening or come in the morning,
I'll pull you sweet flowers, to wear if you choose them;
Or, after you've kissed them, they'll lie on my bosom.
I'll fetch from the mountain its breeze to inspire you;
I'll fetch from my fancy a tale that won't tire you.
We'll look through the trees at the cliff, and the eyrie,
So come in the evening or come in the morning,
REPLY TO "THE WELCOME."—W. F. Fox.
I'll come in the evening. I'll come in the morning;