A religious spirit animates the infancy of our literature, and must continue to gloe in its maturity.The public taste calls for this quality, and would relish no work in which it might be supplanted by a principle of infidelity. Our best authors have written under the influence of Christian feeling; but had they been destitute of this sentiment, they would have found it necessary to accommodate themselves to the opinions of the people, and follow Christian precedents. The beneficent influence of religion on literature, is like that of our evening sun, when it awakens in the clouds those beautiful and burning tints, which clothe the firmament in gold and purple. It constitutes the heart of learning - the great source of its moral power.Religion addresses itself to the highest and holiest of our sentiments - benevolence and veneration, and their excitement stirs up the imagination, strengthens the undeerstanding, and purifies the taste. Thus, both in the mind of the author and the reader, Christianity and literature act and react on each other, with the effect of elevating both, and carrying the human character to the highest perfection which it is destined to reach. Learning should be proud of this companionship, and exert all her wisdom to render it perpetual.
Daniel Drake (1834). Discourse on the History, Character, and Prospects of the West: Delivered to the Union Literary Society of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, at Their Ninth Anniversary, September 23, 1834. Truman and Smith. p. 31
Those who hold that it is no matter what happens after them, hold a wicked and inhuman doctrine... When we feel in our hearts this indifference to the fleeting, and this warm regard for the permanent, let us believe that God has implanted the instinct for a wise purpose; and then follow it as a heavenly guide. It is manifestly intended to turn us from the labors of the day — from the things which perish when the hand which formed ceases to uphold them — to tile things and objects which endure through indefinite ages — renewing, I should rather say augmenting their magnitude and their benificent fruits with every successive generation.
Probably there is no department of science, no form o humanity, in which greater advances have been made of late years, than in the medical and moral management of the insane. When we contrast the spacious and airy apartments of the insane. When we contrast the spacious and airy apartments and the grounds of our asylums, with the dark, and narrow, and dirty cells, in which, twenty years ago, the best accommodated of these poor creatures were immured - their neat and confortable dress, with their former rags and nakedness - their wholesome food, with their former rags and nakedness - their wholesome food, their former rations - and abovel all, the kindness and affection which is shown to them noew, with their ulter neglect in the days when they were executed from the privileges and society of men, we find ourselves shuddering at the thought of what we have seen, and lost in admiration of what we now see. Wherever the Christian religion exists,we find the same rapid advances making towards the accomplishment of the great purposes of humanity. It seems as if the miracles of our Saviour were meant as protoypes of what his religion was to accomplish. It is by the influence of this religion of the march of science and philosophical discovery, that, by all Christian nations, the winds and the waves have been rebuked - that man is enabled to ride out the storm upon the ocean, as if it were hushed, and, like Peter of old, to walk upon the sea as on dry land.