« PreviousContinue »
6. The life of Phillis Wheatley gives most interesting proof of the power of talents and virtues, crowned with "the pearl of great price," the love of Christ, to raise one from the lowest position to
the notice and the esteem of the wise and good.
gov-ern-ment leg-is-la-tive ex-ec-u-tive
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
FTER the war of the Revolution was over, the wise and patriotic men of our country called a convention of delegates from the several States to form a plan of government. The plan which they contrived is called the Constitution of the United States.
2. When the Convention had agreed upon this Constitution, it was sent to Congress, and then to each State, for approval. Being accepted by all, it went into operation in 1789; and has continued ever since to be the foundation of our government.
3. But what is government? I will show by an example. Suppose a man says to his son, "You must not tell a lie: if you do, I shall whip you." In such a case, the father makes a law: that is the first thing in government.
4. By and by somebody brings him word that the boy has broken the law. So he calls the latter to him, and says, "My son, have you told a lie?"
"No," the boy says. Then the father asks his brothers or schoolmates, or whoever heard him; and they all say that he did.
5. So it is proved that the lie was told; and the father concludes that his son is guilty. This is to judge the case, whether the law has been broken; and it is the second thing in government. Finally, the father gets a stick and punishes the liar; that is, he executes the law.
6. So, then, there are always three parts in government, making the law, judging the case, and executing the law. The first is called the legislative, or law-making part; the second the judicial, or judging part; and the third, the executive, or law-executing part.
7. In the government of the United States, these three parts are kept separate. The first, or legislative part, is done by Congress: it is for them to make all the laws. The second, or judicial part, is committed to the Supreme Court: they judge what the laws require, and whether they have been broken, and declare what shall be done in every case. The third, or executive part, is in the hands of the President: his business is to see that what the law requires is done.
8. In some countries, all power is in the hands of a king or emperor, — who does what he pleases, and the people are often greatly abused by him. It is the glory of our country that we have a different kind of government, where such wrongdoing is not permitted.
HAVE read of an Indian chief, who lived a long while ago, somewhere in Virginia, who wanted to know how many men there were in England. So he sent over one of his servants with a long stick, to cut a notch on it for every man he met.
2. The Indian landed in Plymouth, and found there already more than he could count; when he got to Exeter, he found still more; and when he reached London, the people were so many that he broke his stick in pieces, and threw it away, for it was impossible to count them.
3. So if you tried to reckon up all the wrong deeds you have done, at home and in the street, among your playmates and at school, you would find them more than you could count. And, then, you should try still further to reckon up all the bad words you have spoken, you would find that a still harder task.
4. And as for your wrong thoughts and feelings, how many have they been! How impossible it would be to count them! Wrong acts, wrong words, wrong thoughts, wrong wishes, oh, what a list of them there would be! And they are all yours! You did them. You will have to answer for them. They
are done and can not be undone. What will you do with them?
5. And where do you suppose they all come from? When you stand on the bank of a river, and watch the water flowing by hour after hour, and day after day, and year after year, never stopping, but always pushing forward to the sea, you can hardly help asking, "Where do all these waters come from?"
6. Did you ever ask the same question about your sins? Where do these sins come from? Jesus tells us that they come out of the heart. And what a bad heart that must be which can have such things in it! What a place of sin that heart must be which is every day sending out such words and wishes and actions! No wonder that Jesus requires everybody to get a new heart who wants to enter heaven.
Plymouth, a town in Eng- London, one of the three larland. gest cities in the world.
A PSALM OF LIFE.
1. ELL me not in mournful numbers
Te Life is but an
"Life is but an empty dream;"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
2. Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal: "Dust thou art, to dust returnest," Was not spoken of the soul.
USSAINT L'OUVERTURE has been very justly called "one of the most extraordinary men of an age when extraordinary men were numerous." Born a slave in St. Domingo, his first employment was tending cattle on the plantation of his master. As a child he was gentle, thoughtful, and of strong religious tendencies. He early learned to read and write, had some knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, and Latin, and was diligent in gathering stores of information which fitted him for a higher sphere.
2. Toussaint's good conduct and ability gained the