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HYMN OF NATURE.
0. PEABODY, AN AMERICAN
God of the earth's extended plains !
The dark-green fields contented lie: The mountains rise like holy towers,
Where man might commune with the sky: The tall cliff challenges the storm
That lowers upon the vale below, Where shaded fountains send their streams,
With joyous music in their flow. God of the dark and heavy deep!
The waves lie sleeping on the sands, Till the fierce trumpet of the storm
Hath summoned up their thundering bands; Then the white sails are dashed like foam,
Or hurry, trembling, o'er the seas, Till, calmed by thee, the sinking gale
Serenely breathes, Depart in peace. God of the forest's solemn shade!
The grandeur of the lonely tree, That wrestles singly with the gale,
Lifts up admiring eyes to thee; But more majestic far they stand,
When, side by side, their ranks they form, To weave on high their plumes of green,
And fight their battles with the storm. God of the light and viewless air !
Where summer breezes sweetly flow, Or, gathering in their angry might,
The fierce and wintry tempests blow : All—from the evening's plaintive sigh,
That hardly lifts the drooping flower, To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry—
Breathe forth the language of thy power,
God of the fair and open sky!
How gloriously above us springs
Suspended on the rainbow's rings !
Each gilded cloud, that wanders free
The beauty of its praise to thee.
God of the rolling orbs above!
Thy name is written clearly bright
Or evening's golden shower of light.
And every spark that walks alone
Was kindled at thy burning throne.
God of the world! the hour must come,
And nature's self to dust return;
Her incense fires shall cease to burn!
Have made man's warmest praises flow;
The beauty of the world below.
BENEVOLENCE OF JEWS.
Among the great standing injustices of society, the contempt openly or covertly entertained for the Hebrew race, is certainly one of the least defensible. Our prejudices have, in the first place, condemned this people to every mean pursuit; and then we accuse them of meanness. We exclude them so effectually from all the honourable professions in which superior talent finds
employment, that they are obliged to spend their best abilities in outdoing their fellow-countrymen in trade; and then we accuse them of ultra cleverness as trades
We deprive them of every means of making an impression on society except that of wealth ; and then we ask what but their wealth have they to recommend them. We withhold from them that respect, the desire of gaining which is one of the chief supports of principle in all ordinary men ; and because some consequently act as if they wanted principle, we tax the whole tribe with habitual treachery in their dealings. With the political and religious questions connected with this people, we have no desire to meddle; but it is surely within our province to endeavour, by correct information, to do away with some of those merely social prejudices which ignorance alone seems to have given rise to against them.
One chief source, we suspect, of the antipathy with which we treat this part of our community, is the prevailing impression as to their being themselves, as a people, deficient in the social charities. We suppose the Jews to be exclusively sordid and selfish, and thus, in withholding from them our kindly regards, think we are doing to them no more than what they do towards others and towards themselves. Now, the truth is, that the Jews, however eager and ingenious in the pursuit of wealth, are even in a greater degree remarkable for their benevolence. Many of the ceremonies of their religion are combined essentially with deeds of charity. Gifts of five hundred pounds from individuals towards the charitable fund which exists in every congregation, are as common as subscriptions of the tenth part of the amount among ourselves; and even a thousand pounds have been given from a single purse in aid of some of their humane institutions. At the funeral of the late Mr Rothschild, the officiating priest mentioned over the grave, that he had, at various times, received from that eminent financist, sums amounting in all to about twenty thousand pounds, to be bestowed in charity.
And on various occasions of a general subscription in London for objects in which the public spirit and public benevolence was concerned, it is a fact too well known to, be disputed, that the Jews have greatly outshone their fellow-citizens.
We could relate many anecdotes, to shew that the hearts of this people are quite as much in the right place as our own. Some years ago, a steam-vessel on its way between Glasgow and Dublin was detained for two days by stress of weather in Lamlash Bay. A horde of poor
Irish labourers, who had taken a position on the deck, with only as much provision as was calculated to serve them during the usual twenty-four hours of the passage, began to feel the pinching calls of hunger, and, ere the vessel could leave the bay, a scene of dreadful misery had commenced. The steward, from his own stores, had given them a sack of potatoes; but this went little way in satisfying so many mouths, and yet it was all which the honest fellow could be expected to give. In the morning, after one of the foulest and coldest nights which had occurred for a long time, he mentioned the case to the gentlemen in the cabin, whom he naturally expected to take some interest in the matter, and contribute towards the relief of the sufferers. Only one person paid any respectful attention to what he said, or had the humanity to accompany him to the deck. This individual, on reaching the spot, found, as he had been told, that nearly a hundred human beings were in a state of absolute starvation, both from cold and hunger. So benumbed and torpid were they—so entirely were they deprived of all vital energy, that even upon whisky, when a little was offered to them, all except one or two turned an eye of indifference, and it was found necessary to take them down in small numbers to the engine-room, , in order to restore some degree of animation, before any of them could speak. The benevolent stranger immediately returned to the cabin, and described what he had witnessed.
Then, taking off his hat, he placed ten shillings in it, and went round the cabin to receive any
similar trifle which his fellow-passengers might think proper to add. Will it be believed, that scarcely a single piece of money was placed beside his own ? Indignant at length at the coldness with which his proposal was treated, he exclaimed: Gentlemen, I am a Jew, and I have given my mite. If you do not each contribute, I will give a sovereign myself, and I swear to you, I will have the fact trumpeted in every newspaper in the country. This roused them, and a small sum was collected, by means of which the poor wretches upon deck were enabled to reach their destination in some degree of comfort.*
At a more recent period, a monk of the order of La Trappe was brought before an alderman in the city of London, accompanied by a Jew. The monk appeared emaciated to an extraordinary degree, and, in conformity to the rule of his order, maintained a rigid silence. He was stated by the Jew to have been seen wandering about Towerhill and its neighbourhood on the preceding evening, with all the evidences of starvation, but without uttering a syllable of complaint, or soliciting the smallest assistance. To pursue the narrative of the daily intelligence which chronicled the incident - The monk had at length stretched himself in as private a place as he could find, where he was found by the Jew in a state of feverish sleep. The Jew—a Mr Knight-shook the stranger, and asked him if he had no lodging to go to. The monk answered by a shrug and a ghastly look that fully disclosed the condition of his purse, but not a word did he speak. Alderman Cowan requested that the Jew would mention what he had ascertained about the poor
Mr Knight stated that, 'having been born in France, he soon discovered that the melancholy being he · had picked up was a countryman of his, and had been brought up under the silent system. It was a strange mode of recommending a man's self to the notice of the
* To be quite specific, the highest contribution was five shillings from the captain, and the Hebrew ultimately found it necessary to give a sovereign, in order to effect the reliet of the sufferers.