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Temperance, by fortifying the mind and body, leads to happiness: intemperance, by enervating them, ends generally in misery
Title and ancestry render a good man more illustrious ; but an ill one, more contemptible. Vice is infamous, though in a prince; and virtue honourable, though in a peasant.
An elevated genius, employed in little things, appears to use the simile of Longinus) like the sun in his evening declination : he remits his splendour, but retains his magnitude; and pleases more, though he dazzles less.
If envious people were to ask themselves, whether they would exchange their entire situations with the persons envied, (I mean their minds, passions, notions, as well as their persons, fortunes, and dignities,)— presume the self-love, common to human nature, would generally make them prefer their own condition.
We have obliged some persons :~very well !-what would we have more ? Is not the consciousness of doing good, a sufficient reward ?
Do not hurt yourselves or others, by the pursuit of pleasure. Consult your whole nature, Consider yourselves not only as sensitive, but as rational beings; not only as rational, but social ; not only as social, but immortal.
Art thou poor!-Show thyself active and industrious, peaceable and contented. Art thou wealthy ?-Show thyself beneficent and charitable, condescending and humane.
Though religion removes not all the evils of life, though it promises no continuance of undisturbed prosperity, (which indeed it were not salutary for man always to enjoy,) yet, if it mitigates the evils which necessarily belong to our state, it may justly be said to give "rest to them who labour and are heavy laden.”
Wbat a smiling aspect does the love of parents and children, of brothers and sisters, of friends and relations, give to every surrounding object, and every returning day! With what a lustre does it gild even the small habitation, where this placid intercourse dwells ! where such scenes of heartfelt satisfaction succeed uninterruptedly to one another !
How many clear marks of benevolent intention appear every where around us! Wbat a profusion of beauty and ornament is poured forth on the face of nature! What a magnificent spectacle presented to the view of man! What supply contrived for his wants ! What a variety of objects set before him, to gratify his senses, to employ his understanding, to entertain his imagination, to cheer and gladden his heart!
The hope of future happiness is a perpetual source of consolation to good men. Under trouble, it sooths their minds; amidst temptation, it supports their virtue; and, in their dying moments, enables them to say, “O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?”
SECTION VII. Agesilaus, king of Sparta, being asked, “What things he thought most proper for boys to learn," answered, " Those which they ought to practise when they come to be men.' A wiser tban Agesilaus bas inculcated the same sentiment, 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
An Italian philosopher expressed in his motto, that time was his estate." An estate indeed which will produce nothing without cultivation; but which will always abundantly repay the labours of industry, and satisfy the most extensive desires, if no part of it be suffered to lie waste by negligence, to be overrun with noxious plants, or laid out for show, rather than nse.
When Aristotle was asked, “ What a man could gain by telling a falsehood,” he replied, " Not to be credited when he speaks the truth,”
L'Estrange, in his Fables, tells us that a number of frolicsome boys were one day watching frogs, at the side of a pond; and that,as any of them put their heads above the water, they pelted them down again with stones. One of the frogs,appealing to the humanity of the boys,made this striking observation; “Children, you do not consider, that though this may be sport to you, it is death to us."
Sully, the great statesman of France, always retained at his table, in bis most prosperous days, the same frugality to which he had been accustomed in early life. He was frequently reproached, by the courtiers, for this simplicity; but he used to reply to them, in the words of an ancient philosopher: "If the guests are men of sepse, there is sufficient for them: if they are not, I can very well dispense with their company.'
Socrates, though primarily attentive to the culture of his mind, was not negligent of his external appearance. His cleanliness resulted from those ideas of order and decency,
which governed all his actions ; and the care which he took of his health, from his desire to preserve bis mind free and tranquil.
Eminently pleasing and honourable was the friendship between David and Jonathan. 66 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan,” said the plaintive and surviving David : 66 very pleasant hast thou been to me: thy love for me was wonderful; passing the love of women.”
Sir Philip Sidney, at the battle near Zutphen, was wounded by a musket ball, which broke the bone of his thigh. He was carried about a mile and a half, to the camp; and being faint with the loss of blood, and probably parched with thirst through the beat of the weather, he called for drink. It was immediately brought to him: but, as he was putting the vessel to his mouth, a poor wounded soldier, wbo happened at that instant to be carried by him, looked up to it with wishful eyes. The gallant and generons Sidney took the bottle from his mouth, and delivered it to the soldier, say. ing, “Thy necessity is yet greater than mine."
Alexander the Great demanded of a pirate, whom he had taken, by what right be infested the seas? “ By the same right,” replied he, “ that Alexander enslaves the world. But I am called a robber, because I have only one small vessel ; apd he is stiled a conqueror, because he commands great fleets and armies." We too often judge of men by the splendour, and not by tbe merit of their actions.
Antoninus Pius, the Roman Emperor, was an amiable and good man. When
any of bis courtiers attempted to inflame him with a passion for military glory, he used to answer, 6. That he more desired the preservation of one subject, than the destruction of a thousand enemies,”
Men are too often ingenious in making themselves miserable, by aggravating to their own fancy, beyond bounds, all the evils which they endure. They compare themselves with none but those whom they imagine to be more happy ; and complain, that upon them alone has fallen the whole load of human sorrows. Would they look with a more impartial eye on the world, they would see themselves surrounded with sufferers; and find that they are only drinking out of that mixed cup, which Providence has prepared for all.“I will restore thy daughter again to life," said the eastern sage, to a prince, who grieved immoderately for the loss of a beloved child, “ provided thou art able to engrave on her tomb, the names of three persons who have never mourned." The prince made inquiry after such persons; but found the inquiry vain, and was silent.
SECTION VIII. He that hath no rule over his own spirit, is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
A soft answer turneth away wrath ; but grievous words stir up anger.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
Pride goeth before destruction; and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be truly wise.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend ; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.
He that hath pity on the poor, leadeth to the Lord ; that which he hath given, will be pay him again.
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat ; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink.
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?
I have been young, and now I am old ; yet bave I never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
It is better to be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
I have seen the wicked in great power; and spreading himself like a green bay-tree. Yet he passed away: I sought him, but he could not be found.
Happy is the man that findeth Wisdom. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand, riches and honour
Her ways are ways of pleasantoess, and all her paths are peace.
How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like precious ointment: Like the dew of Hermon, and the dew that descended upon the moun. tains of Zion.
The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; he shall therefore beg in harvest, and have nothing.
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding: and lo! it was all grown over with thorns ; nettles had covered its face; and the stone wall was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well; I looked upon it, and received instruction.
Honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time ; nor that which is measured by number of years :But wisdom is the gray hair to man; and an unspotted life
is old age.
Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy fathers; and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. If thou seek bim, he will be found of thee ; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.
SECTION IX, That every day has its pains and sorrows is universally experienced, and almost universally confessed. But let us not attend only to mournful truths; if we look impartially about us, we shall find that every day has likewise its pleasures and its joys.
We should cherish sentiments of charity towards all men. The author of all good nourishes much piety and virtue in hearts that are unknown to us; and beholds repentance
ready to spring up among many, whom we consider as .. reprobates.
No one ought to consider bimself as insignificant in the sight of his Creator. In our several stations, we are all sent forth to be labourers in the vineyard of our heavenly Father. Eyery man has his work allotted, his talent committed to him; by the due improvement of which he may, in one way or other, serve God, promote virtue, and be useful in the world.
The love of praise should be preserved under proper subordination to the principle of duty. In itself, it is a useful motive to action ; but when allowed to extend its influence too far, it corrupts the whole character, and produces guilt, disgrace and misery. To be entirely destitute of it is a defect. To be governed by it is depravity. The proper adjustment of the several principles of action in human nature is a matter that deserves our bighest attention. For when any one of them becomes either too weak or too strong, it endangers both our virtue and our happiness.
The desires and passions of a vicious man, having once obtained an uplimited sway,trañple him under their feet. They