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of Hispaniola, and in the silence of the night, on the disastrous coast of Veragua.
He was decidedly a visionary; but a visionary of an uncommon and successful kind. The manner in which his ardent, imaginative and mercurial nature was controlled by a powerful judgment, and directed by an acute sagacity, is the most extraordinary feature in his character. Thus governed, his imagination, instead of exhausting itself in idle flights, lent aid to his judgment, and enabled him to form conclusions, at which common minds could never have arrived, nay, which they could not perceive when pointed out.
To his intellectual vision it was given to read, in the signs of the times, and to trace, in the conjectures and reveries of past ages, the indications of an unknown world; as soothsayers were said to read predictions in the stars, and to foretell events from the visions of the night.
“ His soul,” observes a Spanish writer, was superior to the age in 'which he lived. For him was reserved the great enterprise of traversing a sea which had given rise to so many fables, and of deciphering the mystery of his time."
With all the visionary fervor of his imagination, its fondest dreams fell short of the reality. He died in ignorance of the real grandeur of his discovery. Until his last breath, he entertained the idea, that he had merely opened a new way to the old resorts of opulent commerce, and had discovered some of the wild regions of the East. He supposed Hispaniola to be the ancient Ophir, which had been visited by the ships of Solomon, and that Cuba and Terra Firma were but remote parts of Asia. What visions of glory would have broken upon his mind, could he have known that he had indeed discovered a new continent, equal to the whole of the old world in magnitude, and separated by two vast oceans from all the earth hitherto known by civilized man! And how would his magnanimous spirit have been consoled, amidst the afflictions of age and the cares of penury, the neglect of a fickle public, and the injustice of an ungrateful king, could he have anticipated the splendid empires which were to spread over the beautiful world he had discovered, and the nations, and tongues, and languages which were to fill its lands with his renown, and to revere and bless his name to the latest posterity !
Living without God in the World. John Foster.
It is a cause for wonder and sorrow, to see millions of rational creatures growing into their permanent habits, under the conforming efficacy of every thing which they ought to resist, and receiving no part of those habits from impressions of the Supreme Object. They are content that a narrow scene of a diminutive world, with its atoms and evils, should usurp, and deprave, and finish their education for immortality, while the Infinite Spirit is here, whose transforming companionship would exalt them into his sons, and, in defiance of a thousand malignant forces attempting to stamp on them an opposite image, lead them into eternity in his likeness. Oh! why is it so possible that this greatest inhabitant of every place where men are living, should be the last whose society they seek, or of whose being constantly near them they feel the importance ?
Why is it possible to be surrounded with the intelligent Reality which exists wherever we are, with attributes that are infinite, and not feel respecting all other things which may be attempting to press on our minds and affect their character, as if they retained with difficulty their shadows of existence, and were continually on the point of vanishing into nothing? Why is this stupendous Intelligence so retired and silent, while present over all the scenes of the earth, and in all the paths and abodes of men ? Why
does he keep his glory invisible behind the shades and visions of the material world ? Why does not this latent glory sometimes beam forth with such a manifestation as could never be forgotten, nor ever be remembered without an emotion of religious fear? And why, in contempt of all that he has displayed to excite either fear or love, is it still possible for a rational creature so to live, that it must finally come to an interview with him in a character completed by the full assemblage of those acquisitions which have separately been disapproved by him through every stage of the accumulation ?
Why is it possible for feeble creatures to maintain their little dependent beings fortified and invincible in sin, amidst the presence of divine purity? Why does not the thought of such a Being strike through the mind with such intense antipathy to evil, as to blast with death every active principle that is beginning to pervert it, and render gradual additions of depravity, growing into the solidity of habit, as impossible as for perishable materials to be raised into structures amidst the fires of the last day? How is it possible to forget the solicitude which should accompany the consciousness that such a Being is continually darting upon us the beams of observant thought (if we may apply such a term to omniscience), that we are exposed to the piercing inspection, compared to which the concentrated attention of all the beings in the universe besides would be but as the powerless gaze of an infant ? Why is faith, that faculty of spiritual apprehension, so absent, or so incomparably more slow and reluctant to receive a just perception of the grandest of its objects, than the senses are adapted to receive the impressions of theirs ? While there is a Spirit pervading the universe with an infinite energy of being, why have the few particles of dust which enclose our spirits the power to intercept all sensible communication with it, and to place them as in a vacuity where the sacred Essence had been precluded or extinguished ?
" And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged
them in the hill before the Lord; and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of the harvest, in the first days, in the
beginning of barley harvest. “And Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth, and spread it for her
apon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest upon them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.”
2 Samuel xxi. 9, 10.
Hear what the desolate Rizpah said,
“ I have made the crags my home, and spread
And the cormorant wheeled in circles round,
“Ye were foully murdered, my hapless sons,
But I hoped that the cottage roof would be
bosom swelled with a mother's pride, As they stood, in their beauty and strength, by my side, Tall, like their sire, with the princely grace Of his stately form, and the bloom of his face. Oh, what an hour for a mother's heart, When the pitiless ruffians tore us apart ! When I clasped their knees, and wept, and prayed, And struggled, and shrieked to Heaven for aid, And clung to my sons with desperate strength, Till the murderers loosed my hold at length, And bore me, breathless and faint, aside, In their iron arms, while my children died! They died—and the mother that gave them birth Is forbid to cover their bones with earth.