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William, are you resigned to the will of God? If you cannot speak, squeeze my hand. O say that you are willing." But he lay motionless; and so far as I could discern, in the awful language of Shakspeare, he died and made no sign.

As we rode home that forenoon, my grandfather seemed lost in meditation. He was a man that never wept, but there was a volume in his face. "John," said he, as we reached the gate, "remember and learn." These pithy words rang in my ears for weeks afterwards; and as I retired that night to my mournful pillow, I could not help saying when alone-Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.


No. 8.

O dark, dark, dark amid the blaze of noon,
Irrevocably dark, total eclipse,
Without all hope of day.

Samson Agonistes. 180.

In a shoemaker's shop, in a town not far from Boston, about sixty years ago, worked Samuel Smallcorn, a youth who was placed there by his father, that, under a sponsible master, he might learn a reputable trade. Sam was an honest lad, sometimes easily imposed upon, from the simplicity of his heart, though by no means lacking in understanding. He was rather credulous, because he never wished to impose upon others; and hence, he was the butt of the wit of some of his fellow-apprentices, whose malice, in the law phrase, supplied their years. Sam had been honestly educated-had been taught his catechism, which he could repeat, every word of it, with all the commandments and the reasons annexed. He had the highest respect for his father, who was the


worthy representative of a long line of Puritan anIn the same shop worked Phil Blake, who was the suspected son of a very suspicious mother. One day, when Sam was quoting, very innocently, some of the sayings of his father, Blake cut him short, by remarking—

'Your father, Sam, is a sly old fox; he has more blots on his character than you know of.'

'Blots!' said Sam, 'what blots? He is as honest a man as ever trod sole-leather.'

'That may be,' said Blake; but, let me tell you, what you never knew before, and what you may as well know now as at any other time-he has one son that is not your brother.'

Impossible!' cried Sam; 'you are joking.' 'No, upon my soul; it is the truth. I should not fear to lay my hand on the Bible, and say—that your father has one son, that is not your brother.'

Sam heard the awful assertion, and turned as pale as death. His father! his respected father!—a member of the church, and once having two votes for the office of deacon!-could the venerable old Mr. Smallcorn have an illegitimate son ! It was just after breakfast; but the contents of the morning meal did not stay long on Sam's stomach. He was sick of the world; sick of his father; sick of himself; and it seemed to him, as it did to Brutus under the rock, that virtue was an empty name. He worried over the tidings all that day; nor was it, until the shades of

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dewy evening came over the earth, that he found out the dreadful amphibology- for Blake asked him, whether he himself was brother to himself?' and whether he was not his father's son?' Then poor Sam had a second penance to undergo-being laughed at for his credulity.


For my part, I sympathize with poor Sam Smallcorn, and I detest Blake, whom I devoutly hope was brought afterwards to the gallows; for there are cases when credulity is more honorable than unbelief. Indeed, I do not know a phrase, which is more abused than that of credulous people.' What is it that makes a man credulous? If, moved by a tale of wo, you give to a being whose form is emaciated and whose eyes are sunk in sorrow, some skeptical old Hunks, who loves his purse better than his conscience, will call you credulous, for hastily believing a false story of misery. If you think it best to part with your gold to spread the purest principles, purer than fined gold, you will be regarded as the dupe of some holy cheats, whose chief design, however, seems to be to cheat mankind into virtue and happiness. Some people seem to have a mortal aversion to any kind of credulity, which lays the least tax on their selfishness, or calls for any benevolent exertion. It is credulous to believe, that the sufferings of the poor are great, or that there are such beings as the poor. It is credulous to believe the Bible; or to suppose, that the Author of nature values the salvation

of men more than the laws of nature. It is credulous to believe, that religion is any thing else than a dream. It is credulous to suppose, that this vast system was made for any purpose, or that the mighty wheels of nature were first created, and are now rolled round, by an invisible hand. It is credulous to imagine, that there is any moral government; any reward for the virtuous, or any future punishment for the most abandoned of mankind. In some people's imagination, conscience is the very organ of credulity; and the only way of being a philosopher, is to suppress its dictates and blunt its sensibilities. To hear some people talk, you would suppose, that to be credulous was the greatest disgrace; and the only way to avoid. that imputation, was to reject all the truths around which the pious have gathered, and which Heaven has bound, by the most sacred obligations, on the hopes and fears of mankind.

I remember that Plato, in one of his dialogues, says that there was an order of men, in his day, who rejected spiritual conceptions; and taking hold of rocks, hills, or oaks, or some other material substance, affirmed that these were the only real existences; that no wise man would puzzle himself about any ideas or notions, but such as he could see with his eyes, smell with his nose, or touch with his fingers. Perhaps the peculiar, tenuous and transcendental philosophy of Plato, was calculated to repel opposing sects to opposite extremes; and he who was always

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