« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
has laughed through the cordage of her laden ships. England for the last several centuries has spread her conquests over all North America, conquered part of the Eastern world, and given birth to some of the greatest men that have existed in modern days. There was a Fox, a Pit, a Sheridan, and others whose fame and glory shone through Europe, like a meteor that bursts and sheds its blaze throughout the heavens. As far back as the commencement of the reign of the Tudors she has not been wanting for a succession of learned men to gild the pages of her history. Even down to this day her lustre is undiminished, and she still remains the guiding star for history to emblazon. But contrast her happiness now to her misery eighteen hundred years ago. Then her inhabitants were immersed in all the horrors of savage life, living in huts with their cattle, clothed with the skins of beasts, and sacrificing human victims to their gods. Their religious superstitions alone were enough to blacken the pages of history, and make the heart of the philanthropist bleed.
Thus I have reviewed English history, and traced that nation from savage to civilized life. And I have done this to show that savage life does not afford any happiness, but on the contrary it adds infinitely to the weight of man's calamities. It has filled ancient Britain with tears, and clothed barbarous nations in mourning; it has brought upon the savage race the wrath and curse of Heaven. It may be asked is there no remedy for this degradation of savage life. Is there no way in which truth, reason and mercy can rear a superstructure that will suppress it. I answer yes. That
superstructure is civilization and religion. Let the gospel of Jesus be preached throughout the world, and let the waste places in Zion be built up, let' the missionary of the cross of Christ proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to a guilty dying world, then savage life will become totally annihilated, and civilization wave her white banner throughout the earth.
BOOKS THE GREAT SOURCE OF
It is through the information of books that we can learn what has happened in all ages of the world. It is through books that we learn what a great Empire the Assyrian was, founded by Nimrod, that mighty hunter, which increased in splendor for the long period of fifteen centuries, spreading itself over the fairest portions of the globe, and at length overturned and subdued by the immortal Cyrus. And there was the Persian Empire, shining like a meteor for nearly two centuries, swayed by the scepter of Cyrus, conquering the surrounding nations, and adding strength to its greatness, and at length totally subjugated under Darius their last king, in the memorable battle on the Granicus at Issus, on the plains of Arbela, by the all-conquering arm of Alexander. View next the Grecian Empire, brilliant but brief, existing but a few years in a blaze of glory, and terminating with its hero in an ignoble death, and dividing itself into several kingdoms, stretching their petty scepters over the disjointed parts of the continent. View next the Roman
Eagle, wheeling its victorious flight over the fertile plains of Asia, the burning sands of Africa, and the genial soil of Europe, conquering Carthage and Britain, and giving laws to the then known world. It existed under a republican government for nearly five centuries, and gave birth to some of the greatest writers, poets, statesmen, heroes and sages, that have existed at any period of the world. View the imperial city, spreading itself over seven hills, and at the birth of Christ containing over four millions of inhabitants. But view its decline. Headed at last by an ambitious set of demagogues, such as Cato, Cataline, Nero and others, it falls. The imperial city is sacked and pillaged, and overturned by successive hordes of fierce barbarians, and in the fourth and fifth centuries after Christ, the semi-savages from the north, the Saracenes from the east, the Goths and Vandals from the west, complete its destruction. To this deplorable state succeeded the dark ages of the world. It is through the information of books, that blessed book the Bible, that we learn of the dispensation of a cloud of ignorance, through the herald of the cross sent over that dark benighted land.
After England was converted to christianity, she arose as upon the wings of destiny, and became one of the greatest nations on the globe, and since the Reformation she has spread her conquests over all North America, conquered a major part of the eastern world, and given birth to some of the greatest men that have existed in modern days.
Again, it is book information that has raised individuals to the very pinnacle of greatness. It was book
information that enabled Wesley to be the founder of a sect which has since spread itself over the civilized globe. It was book information that enabled the Earl of Chatham to be England's greatest statesman and orator, and Goldsmith to be one of the ablest historians that ever existed. Book information then is power. . It is the scepter that gives us dominion over nature. It is the key which unlocks the storehouse of creation, and opens to us the treasures of the universe.
Take for example the man that has no book information.
Can be gain any information on a tour through the old world ? No. Let him travel through those oriental countries, let him wander if you please over the hills of Greece, and everything that presents itself to his eye is of a dreary aspect, bounded on one side by sterile hills, and on the other lashed by the eternal waves of the Ægean sea.
Let him look over Egypt and he will see nothing but the ruins of ancient cities and temples. He can get no information of the ancient beauty, grandeur and magnificence of those countries. The information he will impart on his return, will be cold and uninteresting. It is only the man of book information that can learn the rise and fall of those nations and cities, that can rake up
their mouldering ashes, that can collect and gather together their scattered fragments as they rot, and hand them down through books from generation to generation.