« PreviousContinue »
fathers." Terrible as the volcano's burst, rapid as the progress of thought, the appalling denunciation is executed. The Lion came up from his thicket, the Avenger went forth from his place, to make the palaces of the proud desolate, to overturn the throne of the haughty, to set the people free, to open the prison-doors of the mind, and redeem it from the power of the oppressor. The fool of his own folly flies from the face of an insulted people; hissed from his throne, he becomes a vagabond in his native land -a mark of contempt and scorn to those, who were once his subjects—an object of aversion to his fellow-monarchs, without the poor consolation of their sympathy-a living, breathing body, but without the power of doing mischief, as he had before been without the willingness to do good. And men, as they pass, stop and gaze at the wonder— the Lion standing by, in appeased and silent dignity, content to have been the minister of Heaven's decree
The Lion preys not upon carcasses.
But it is time to stay these wanderings of thought, and to put an end to these indefinite and almost intangible generalities. You, my friends, in obedience to whose call I am here, are aware that this has been one of the most prolific seasons in an age that is proverbially an age of orations. Public celebrations, of one kind or another, have followed each other in rapid succession, and the same newspaper, which tells of one that is past, tells also of one that is to come, till the public eye is almost weary of
gazing at the show, and the public ear begins to sicken with the sound of the approaching procession. Orators and Poets have preceded me, admonishing the popular feeling, instructing the popular mind, and delighting the popular taste, and what could be expected of me, the last and least of the train? Happy those Orators and Bards
The abundant harvest, recompense divine,
Would you, my brethren and associates, accomplish the object of your association? would
attain the end of your existence ? would you possess the chief good ? Remember your motto. Be just, and fear not. Love yourselves.
Let this sacred maxim be written in golden capitals on the tablets of your memory. It is the dictate of religion, the sum of the moral law, the essence of patriotism. Reverence and practise it, and it will be a crown of abiding glory, when titles, wealth and honors shall be of no further use for these must be laid aside when you pass the threshold of immortality.
Since the last celebration of this triennial festival, seventeen of our associates have deceased. Of these all, but three, participated with us in the festivities and congratulations of the day. Some of them had been with us, almost from the beginning of our insti
tution; some had been active and useful officers. Some were rich in years as well as in the respect and affection of their brethren ; others were taken from us and their families in the noon of life, the meridian of manhood, full of hope and expectation, and promise of happiness to come. To offer a more ample and respectful tribute to their memories would be grateful to my feelings, but time will not permit the indulgence. Neither is there time for the solemn reflections, which present themselves to the mind, when we perceive so many of our friends and associates taken from our presence in the brief space of three years. They have passed — Peace to their souls-honor to their memories.
We, too, are passing away, though yet but pupils in the great school of Nature and Providence. We may build temples and tombs and monuments, whose duration, compared with the longest term of human life, may be counted long; the works of our hands may remain for centuries ; but the designer and the builder, he who contrives and he who executes, he who labors and he who enjoys, “come like shadows, so depart.” There is but one way, in which we can perpetuate our existence on the earth.
The productions of mind are, in their consequences, eternal, and in those consequences we can secure immortality. The soul of the present age can live in the soul of all its successors.
Our descendants can be quickened by the spirit of their fathers. We can leave behind us some memorial of virtuous principle, and we can carry with us, from this land of shadows to that
realm where all is reality, the consciousness of hav. ing improved the talent, which our master has entrusted to our keeping; and we can carry with us, too, the hope that this delightful Paradise of our own and our fathers' creation, which shall bloom over our ashes, may continue to bloom, and brighten, and extend, for virtuous, happy, and improving posterity, till Time, no longer sustained on fluttering wing, shall sink in the ocean of Eternity.
Great Spirit, Deepest Love,
Whose heavens only bound us,
CHARITABLE MECHANIC ASSOCIATION
Was instituted in March, 1795; and incorporated, by Act of the Legislature of Massachusetts, in March, 1806.
Its funds are created chiefly by the admission fees of members, and the annual assessment of two dollars. The whole amount of the funds, now permanently invested, is $14,000.
On the decease of a member, his family are presented, by the Treasurer, with forty dollars. The annual average of beneficiaries, on the charity list, is thirty.
A School has been kept three months in each year, for several years past, for the instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic, of the apprentices of members who are disposed to avail themselves of the privilege.
A course of Scientific Lectures is instituted, at which each member is admitted gratuitously, and is furnished with a transferable ticket for his friend, child, or apprentice. These lectures usually last from October to April. The lectures for the present season commenced on the second Monday in October, with an introductory by the Rev. Mr. FROTHINGHAM, and will be continued through the season by the following gentlemen :Hon. E. EVERETT, Hon. A. H. EVERETT, Hon. Wm. SulliVAN, and Drs. Flint, GRIGG, PARK, ROBBINS, SMITH, STORER, and WARREN.
Officers of the Association for the present Pear.
DANIEL MESSINGER, President.