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LESSON XXI.

THE MORAL EFFCTS OF INTEMPERANCE.

BEECHER

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1. The sufferings of animal nature occasioned by intemperance, my friends, are not to be compared with the moral ago nies which convulse the soul. It is an immortal being, who sins and suffers; and, as his earthly house dissolves, he is ap proaching the judgment-seat, in anticipation of a miserable eternity. He feels his captivity, and in anguish of spirit clanks his chain and cries for help. Conscience thunders, remorse goads, and, as the gulf opens before him, he recoils, and trembles, and weeps, and prays, and resolves, and promises, and reforms, and “ seeks it yet again," again resolves, and weeps, and prays, and “ seeks it yet again!"

2. Wretched man! he has placed himself in the hands of a giant, who never pities, and never relaxes his iron gripe. He may struggle, but he is in chains. He may cry for release, but it comes not; and lost! lost! may be inscribed upon the door. posts of his dwelling.

3. In the meantime, these paroxysms of his dying moral nature decline, and a fearful apathy, the harbinger of spiritual death, comes on. His resolution fails, and his mental energy, and his vigorous enterprise; and nervous irritation and depression ensue.

The social affections lose their fullness and tenderness, and the conscience loses its power, and the heart its sensibility, until all that was once lovely and of good report retires, and leaves the wretch abandoned to the appetites of a ruined animal.

4. In this deplorable condition, reputation expires, business falters and becomes perplexed, and temptations to drink multiply, as inclination to do so increases, and the power of resistance declines. And now the vortex roars, and the struggling victim buffets the fiery wave with feebler stroke, and waning supplication, until despair flashes upon his soul, and, with an outcry that pierces the heavens, he ceases to strive, and dis appears.

LESSON XXII.

CATO's SOLILOQUY ON IMMORTALITY.

ADDISON.

1. It must be so : Plato, thou reasonest well!

Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality ?
Or, whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction ?
'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us :
'Tis heaven itself, that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.

2. Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought !

Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.

3. Here will I hold. If there's a power above us,

(And that there is, all nature cries aloud,
Through all her works,) He must delight in virtue :
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when? or where? This world was made for Cæsai
I'm weary of conjectures: this must end them.

[Laying his hand on his sword) 4. Thus, I am doubly armed. My death and life,

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My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end ;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt, amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.

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1. I HAVE often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of for tune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man, and prostrate him in the dust, seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it approaches to sublimity.

2. These observations call to mind a little domestic story, of which I was once a witness. My intimate friend, Leslie, had married a beautiful and accomplished girl, who had been brought up in the midst of fashionable life. She had, it is true, no fortune ; but that of my friend was ample, and he delighted in the anticipation of indulging her in every elegant pursuit, and administering to those delicate tastes and fancies that spread a kind of witchery about the sex. “ Her life,” said he, “shall be like a fairy tale.”

3. The very difference in their characters produced an harmɔnious combination; he was of a romantic and somewhat serious cast; she was all life and gladness. I have often no ticed the mute rapture with which he would gaze upon her in company, of which her sprightly powers made her the delight; and how, in the midst of applause, her eye would still turn to him, as if there alone she sought favor and acceptance.

4. When leaning on his arm, her slender form contrasted finely with his tall, manly person. The fond, confiding air with which she looked up to him seemed to call forth a flush of triumphant pride and cherishing tenderness, as if he doted on his lovely burden for its very helplessness. Never did a couple set forward on the flowery path of early and well-suited marriage with a fairer prospect of felicity.

5. It was the misfortune of my friend, however, to have embarked his property in large speculations; and he had not been married many months, when, by a succession of sudden disasters, it was swept from him, and he found himself reduced almost to penury. For a time he kept his situation to himself, and went about with a haggard countenance, and a breaking heart. His life was but a protracted agony; and what rendered it more insupportable was the necessity of keeping up a smile in the presence of his wife; for he could not bring him. self to overwhelm her with the news.

6. She saw, however, with the quick eyes of affection, that all was not well with him. She marked his altered looks and stifled sighs, and was not to be deceived by his sickly and vapid attempts at cheerfulness. She tasked all her sprightly powers

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and tender blandishments to win him back to happiness; but she only drove the arrow deeper into his soul. The more he saw cause to love her, the more torturing was the thought that he was soon to make her wretched.

7. A little while, thought he, and the smile will vanish from that cheek—the

song
will die

away from those lips—the luster of those eyes will be quenched with sorrow; and the happy heart, which now beats lightly in that bosom, will be weighed down, like mine, by the cares and miseries of the world. At length, he came to me one day, and related his whole situation, in a tone of the deepest despair.

8. When I heard him through, I inquired, “Does your wife know all this?” At the question he burst into an agony of tears. “ For God's sake!” cried he, “if you have any pity on me, don't mention my wife; it is the thought of her that drives me almost to madness!"

“ And why not ? ” said I. “She must know it, sooner or later; you cannot keep it long from her, and the intelligence may break upon her in a more startling manner than if imparted by yourself; for the accents of those we love soften the harshest tidings.

9. “Besides, you are depriving yourself of the comforts of her sympathy; and not merely that, but also endangering the only bond that can keep hearts together-an unreserved community of thought and feeling. She will soon perceive that something is secretly preying upon your mind; and true love will not brook reserve; it feels undervalued and outraged, when even the sorrows of those it loves are concealed from it."

10. “O, but, my friend ! to think what a blow I am to give to all her future prospects—how I am to strike her very soul to the earth, by telling her that her husband is a beggar! that she is to forego all the elegances of life—all the pleasures of society-to shrink with me into indigence and obscurity! To tell her that I have dragged her down from the sphere in which she

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