Devoted to literature,
In this busy season of the year having so much other business to attend to I have had but little time to devote to selecting matter for this journal.
To the donors of the communications which I have received I feel thankful. J B
The Skies -- Bryant
Ay, gloriously thou standest there,
Beautiful boundless firmament!
That, swelling wide o’er earth and air
And round the horizon bent,
With that bright vault and sapphire wall,
Does overhang and circle all.
Far, far below thee, tall gray trees
Arise, and piles built up of old,
And hills, whose ancient summits freeze
In the fierce light and cold.
The eagle soars his utmost height;
Yet far thou stretchest o’er his flight.
Thou has thy frowns: with thee, on high
The storm has made his airy seat.
Beyond thy soft blue curtain lie
His stores of hail and sleet.
Thence the consuming lightnings break
There the strong hurricanes awake.
Yet art thou prodigal of smiles –
Smiles sweeter than thy frowns are stern;
Earth sends from all her shores and isles
A song at their return;
The glory that comes down from thee
Bathes in deep joy the land and sea.
6th mo. 29th 1851 No. 2
Oh! when, amid the throng of men,
The heart grows sick of hollow mirth
How willingly we turn us, then,
Away from this cold earth,
And look into thy azure breast,
For seats of innocence and rest!
(from Commonplace book of poetry)
Employment of time
(from Fowler on memory)
“Time is money.” Time is happiness. Time is life itself. Time is indeed the groundwork of every thing; for what can we do, become, enjoy, except by improving our time?
Is it not, then, too precious to be squandered or misapplied? Should we allow even a single hour or minute to pass unimproved? If we do, we experience an irreparable loss! Time once passed never returns! We have but one life to live, and can live its every year, day, and hour but once. A given hour allowed to pass unimproved, an opportunity for enjoyment has flown forever! We can improve time only while it is passing. Indeed, the right improvement of time is only another name for every virtue and for perfect happiness; its misimprovement, for every sin and wo[e].
“Vice is a monster of such hideous mien
That to be hated needs but to be seen,
But seen too oft – familiar with its face,
First we endure, then pity then embrace.”
The power of memory
(from Fowler on memory)
Facts compel the author to believe that the powers of the memory are bounded only by the extent of its cultivation. Of the extent of the natural capabilities, he has the highest ideas. Indeed, he regards its powers as almost infinite.
Innumerable facts tending to establish this conclusion he has witnessed and experienced. On requesting the South Boston omnibus drivers to do errands in Boston, he observed that they took no memoranda; yet committed no errors, though they do score[s] of errands at a trip.
The second time I went to the Boston front office, the activating clerk, without looking over the letters or papers, said there was none for me. I requested him to look, which he did, meanwhile remarking that it was useless, but found none and scores of times the moment he saw me, responded that there was something or nothing for me, without my being able to detect a single mistake. To be able thus to remember whether or not there was something for any of those thousands of citizens and strangers continually applying, requires an extraordinarily retentive memory; and yet every reader might have attained, probably can yet acquire, one quite as efficient.
Mr. Worthen, baker, Manchester N.H. serves three hundred customers, about two thirds of whom take more or less every morning, but he sets down nothing till he returns home; after having visited say half of them; yet he forgets not a loaf.
A man in Halifax, N.S. can tell at once the name and age of every inhabitant in town, young and old. After delivering a lecture at Clinton Hall, on the improvement of the memory, one of the audience stated that an acquaintance of his, a cattle drover of New York, who could neither read nor write, after having sold off large droves to different butchers, kept their price, and every thing in his mind, and could go around months afterwards, even after having bought up and sold out several other droves and settle from memory, without ever having been known to forget any thing.
Indubitable and universal fact compels the belief that the human mind is constituted and capacitated, provided the body were kept in the right state, and the faculty disciplined in the best manner, to recall every event of life. Nature has created memory fact tight, so that it need allow literally nothing to escape.
The next question that presented itself to my mind was, must we depend on the sound of the church bell to know when to worship God, or when the Sab[b]ath appears? The thought of attending church & going though a regular ro[u]tine of forms and ceremonies during which the bishop changes his robes some twice or thrice, as many insects do in passing from the larva to the perfect insect, produced in my mind a feeling of disgust and at the same time a simpathy [sic] for the misled. From observation and inquiry I feel free to assert, that those who depend on the sound of the church bell and approach of the Sabath to commence their work of worship, have less regard for their actions in the intermediate time than those whose bell is their conscience not made from hard and weighty metals dug out of the earth and mined in certain proportions by the hands of man, but an in[n]ate principle or monitor implanted within every heart, sounding its trumpet for attention, while prosecuting every act, and ever ready to guard and direct aright our frail bark, when thick clouds obscure the light of the mid-day sun, and the troubled waters toss us to and fro and we stagger like the inebriate. This feeling or conscience as it is formed is as it were a compass and a rudder to every man in steering his ship directly and safely into the great harbour of harbours, where he may dwell through eternity in endless bliss. H.G.P.
For the Locust Grove Journal
Friend editor, believing that your columns will not be closed as those of the periodicals of the present day generally are to most all the new and mysterious movements that are rapidly approaching, intruding upon and at last convincing the mind of man, but these few remarks which I shall make are not designed to convince the minds of any but to make known to them certain facts which I have seen, and about which the members of your association know but little, as there is nothing said in most of the papers of the day about this subject.
Accompanied by two of my friends, one of whom was a believer in the mysterious knockings, or communion with departed spirits, we entered a house the members of which knew the manner of bringing the knockings. Making known our business (that we wished to see and hear some manifestation of this mystery), being seated around a table with the man of the house, two old ladies, one perhaps his wife, and three young ladies perhaps his daughters, making nine of us in all, and furnished with pencils and papers, the man inquired in a common tone, can we have the rappings today? which was immediately followed by three raps, upon, about or in the table, which was an answer in the affirmative, he then told us that we might ask questions now, being previously prepared with some, we asked some and were answered.
A friend of mine being absent for several years and supposing him diseased I ventured to ask the following questions, Is the spirit of ____ present? which was answered in the affirmative, will he rap the number of years that he has been in the spirit land, and there were three raps, and now the number of months, and there were six raps; Did he die on the land? answer in the negative, was he drowned? answer in the negative; there were then several [k]nocks in quick succession, and the man asked, is the card called for, – that is the alphabet – answer in the af[f]irmative.
One of the girls “called the scribe” commenced moving her finger on the alphabet on a piece of pasteboard which she held in her hand, after moving over all the lines several times, it commenced suddenly to move very quick from one letter to another and she spoke the words that were spelled by the letters to which her finger pointed, – she said after, that she had no power over her hand and arm at those times.
The following was spelled out as I wrote it down as she spoke –
I died upon the water but not drowned, but the vessel in which I was took fire and in the confusion and bustle I was caught fast and was crushed to death because I was unable to extricate myself and all [were] too busy in trying to save their own lives to lend me a helping hand,
As we had but a limited time to stay, and my friend having some questions prepared, I let them have a chance. I have not the permission but I will take the liberty to mention what took place with one of my friends, thinking what it will make ...
Extract of a Letter from
John Adams to Thomas Jefferson
This globe is a theatre of war, its inhabitants are all heroes, the little eels in vinegar, and the animalcules in pepper-water, I believe are quar[r]elsome. The bees are as warlike as the Romans, Russians, Britons, Frenchmen. Ants, caterpillars, and cankerworms are the only tribes among whom I have not seen battles; and heaven itself if we believe Hindoos, Jews, Christians, and Mahometans, has not always been at peace. We need not trouble ourselves about these things nor fret ourselves because of evil doers; but safely trust the Ruler with his skies.
“Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate or enslave; at home a friend, abroad an introduction, in solitude a solace, and in society an ornament.”
Great Britain lost 100,000,000 dollars and 100,000 lives during the revolutionary war and gained nothing.
How to prosper in the world? Be industrious, prudent, saving, resolute, contented and thankful.
The first ascent in a bal[l]oon was made in October 1783 by Philate de Rozier, at Paris.
An ad[d]ress to one in the middle
stage of life
“Time never weary of its course still glides on
And is ever bringing new events to view:”
Thou mayest look back upon the transactions of the past and see the delightful perspective of thy youth, with many monuments of every memorable actions and events, while at the far distance is a faint glimpse of pleasing childhood, and observe the narrow passages, shoals and rocks that thy bark has passed, but it still glides on without being much scarred or broken by the many trials of this world. Be thoughtful, do justly, walk uprightly and it will be guided by an overruling providence, as it glides along in its swift and onward course. Thou little knowest how soon it will be wrecked; day after day passes, and time is ever bringing us nearer to that awful precipice, Death; whose restless tongue calls daily for its thousands.
We may reflect upon the past but the future is a dark and unknown abyss into which we are rapidly advancing.
“When we desire or solicit any thing, our minds run wholly on the good side or circumstances of it; when it is obtained our minds run only on the bad ones.”
Thoughts on hearing
a church bell.
It was on a cold sleety morning in the dreary month of February, that I was suddenly aroused from my slumber by the clatter of a church bell on the steeple of “the house of God” as termed by its members, which was not far distant.
This you must recollect was on the morning of the Lords day or the one which must be spent in worshiping God supremely, and delivering up wordy and long winded prayers for the protection of the officers of our glourious [sic] republic, members of the church, and forgiveness for transgressions from the path of righteousness during the past week. After retiring from my chamber to the parlour I immediately made inquiry as to the object of sounding gods trumpet so early in the morning, to which I received the response that it was to let the members of the church know that that was the morning of the Lords day.
My mind then centered in the situation of the person engaged in performing the labour actually essential to give motion to that ponderous mass of sonorous metals to produce by their colissions [sic] the clatter and hum which every wave of the atmosphere brought to my auditories, and echoed from ste[e]ple to steple and street to street and appeared to die away amid the neighbouring woods, whose mossy boughs wore a regalia of glass. This person I say attracted my attention first, because it is a violation of the rules of the di[s]cipline to perform any labour on the holy day. Yet its members are so inconsistant with the principles they profess that they actually bestow their dimes to one whom they look down upon as an inferior course of mental training suited to thir own religious principles, conclude that it is in accordance with the mandates of the most high. But does this justify them in their iniquitous course? Is this carrying into execution the commandment given by Moses? which requires us to do unto our neighbours as we would that they should do unto us; certainly not. And thus far do the members of the church fall short of being practical Christians.
If the use of such an instrument is actually indispensible in summoning the members to meet before their Bishop, I think it would be well for him to perform this physical labour, and as he has immediate access to God, he can be forgiven if it is a violation [of] divine law or justified if right.