at once to the thoughtlessness of the rash, and the devotion of the good; which addresses all times, and all ages and all sexes; which tells of wisdom to the wise, and of comfort to the afflicted; which warns us of our follies and our dangers; which whispers to us in accents of peace, and alarms us in tones of terror; which steals with a healing balm into the stricken heart, and lifts up and supports the broken spirit; which awakens a new enthusiasm for virtue, and disciplines us for its severer trials and duties; which calls up the images of the illustrious dead, with an animating presence for our example and glory; and which demands of us, as men, as patriots, as christians, as immortals, that the powers given by God should be devoted to his service, and the minds created by his love, should return to him with larger capacities for virtuous enjoyment, and with more spiritual and intellectual brightness.
It should not be for the poor purpose of gratifying our vanity or pride, that we should erect columns, and obelisks, and monuments to the dead; but that we may read thereon much of our own destiny and duty.
We know that man is the creature of associations and excitements.
Experience may instruct, but habit, and appetite, and passion, and imagination, will exercise a strong dominion over him. These are the Fates which weave the thread of his character, and unravel the mysteries of his conduct.
The truth, which strikes home, must not only have the approbation of his reason, but it must be embodied in a visible, tangible, practical form.
It must be felt, as well as seen.
It must warm, as well as convince.