Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

TIIE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 297297A ASTOR, LENOX AND TILIEN FOUNDATISNS

1927

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic]

Yew of the Presbyterian Meting House, formerly standing in Federal Street, Boston.

THE

POLYANTHOS.

FOR OCTOBER, 1812.

We shall never envy the honors which wit and learning obtain in any other cause, if we can be numbered among the writers who have given ardor to virtue and confidence to truth.

Dr. Johnson.

FOR THE POLYANTHOS.

HISTORICAL SKETCHES....No. I.

The annexed PLATE represents the meeting house which formerly stood at the corner of Federal and Berry streets, Boston. It was built in 1744, by a society of Scotch and Irish emigrants, and their descendants. Several concurring circumstances have rendered this edifice celebrated in the history of the capital of Massachusetts. The Rev. John Moorhead, an Irish Protestants no less remarkable for the honest bluntness of his manners and conversation, than for his fervent and unaffected piety, was the first pastor of the congregation. To him'succeeded the Rev. Jeremy Belknap, D. D. well known as a historian and biographer. It was in this house that the delegates of Massachusetts met in convention to deliberate on the Federal Constitution, and here finally adopted it, February 7, 1788. From this incident the street, which till then had been called Long Lane, received the more dignified appellation of Federal street. The building was taken down in March, 1809, and an elegant brick meeting house, in the gothic style of architecture, built on the spot the same year.

[blocks in formation]

FOR THE POLYANTHOS.

THE MORAL CENSOR.

No. I. “ ONE might have expected that this distance, like death, would have been a protection against spite and envy ; and indeed absence being a kind of death, ought alike to secure the name of the absent as of the dead; because they are equally unable as such to defend themselves ; but they that intend mischief, do not chuse to follow good rules to effect it.”

Mr. Penn's Letter to bis Friends in London, Anno 1683.

The extract, which furnishes a motto for this paper, is admirably suited for a text to a discourse on the folly and criminality of slandering our fellow men. Every manly sentiment, every noble passion, every humane feeling, rises indignant against the calumniator of the defenceless, absent, or dead. But the defamer “ does not use to follow good rules,” to effect his purpose, and the arrow levelled at another's reputation generally recoils and wounds his own. The squib bursts in bis hands before he has thrown it at the mark, and he himself is burned with the fire that he had kindled to annoy his neighbor. The scandal of fools is weak and harmless, and while it evinces imbecility of mind and corruption of principle, excites no sensation but disgust-provokes no emotion but contempt. But when men of superior abilities prostitute them in the invention of false, or the circulation of evil reports, the peace not only of individuals but of the whole community is seriously endangered.

There is no treasure so invaluable-no gem so preciousme no possession so dear, as reputation. The ravages of war may cease, and misfortune become tired of persecuting ;wealth that has taken wings may repent of its flight and return ;-corporeal ailments may yield to the influence of the healing art, and vigor with sanity be restored to the debilitated frame ;-but honor, once tarnished, is destroyed-once gone, is gone forever. Suspicions, doubts and jealousies follow the sincerely penitent through all the walks and pursuits of life, nor quit him until he repose in the grave. Man, who

« ZurückWeiter »