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give while his gift can be enjoyed; and remember, that every moment of delay takes away something from the vasue of his benefaction. And let him who proposes his own nappiness reflect, that while he forms his purpose, the day rolls on, and “the night cometh, when no man can work.” To sensual persons, hardly any thing is what it appears to be: and what flatters most, is always farthest from reality. There are voices which sing around them; but whose sirains allure' to ruin. There is a banquet spread, where poison is in every dish. There is a couch which invites : them to repose; but to slumber upon it, is death. ' If we would judge whether a man is really happy, it is not solely to his houses and lands, to his equipage" and his retinue we are to look. Unless we could see farther, and discern what joy, or what bitterness, his heart feels, we can }. little concerning him. - o The book is well written; and I have perused it, with * pleasure and profit. It shows, first, that true devotion is rational and well founded; next, that it is of the highest importance to every other part of religion and virtue; and lastly, that it is most conducive" to our happiness. . . . . There is certainly no greater felicity, than to be able to o look back on a life usefully and virtuously employed; to a trace our own progress in existence, by such tokens" as excite neither shame nor sorrow. It ought therefore to be a the care of those who wish to pass the last hours with com-: , fort, to lay up such a treasure of pleasing ideas, as shall support H. expenses of that time, which is to depend wholly upon the fundP already acquired. . == w SECTION W. a A-vail, à-vále', benefit, to profit. h. Un-war-ran-ta-ble, on-wär'-rānb Qual-i-sy, kwäl'-lè-fi, to fit for any ta-bl, indefensible, not to be jus
upon. bl, not to be regained. d Jol-li-ty, jól'-lè-te, gaiety. k Squan-der, o, to lavish,
e Dis-play, dis-plas, to exhibit, pomp. dissipate. fAp-peal, àp-péle', to refer, a refe-|l Ef-fem-i-nate, éf-fèm/-é-nāte. worence. - manish, voluptuous, tender. g Dis-con-tent, dis-kön-tênt', wan of content. WHAT avails" the show of external liberty, to one who has lost the government of himself f
He that cannot live well to-day, (says Martial,) will be less qualified" to live well to-morrow. Can we esteem" that man prosperous, who is raised to a situation which flatters his passions, but which corrupts his principles, disorders his temper, and finally oversets his virtue: What misery does the vicious man secretly endure!— Adversity! how blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver, in comparison with those of guilt! hen we have no pleasure in goodness, we may with certainty conclude the reason to be, that our pleasure is all derived from an opposite quarter. How strangely are the opinions of men altered by a change in their condition! How many, have had reason to be thankful, for being .disappointed in designs which they earnestly pursued, but which, if successfully accomplished, they have afterwards seen would have occasioned their ruin!" What are the actions which afford in the remembrance a rational satisfaction? Are they the pursuits of sensua pleasure, the riots of jollity," or the displays" of show ans vanity? No: I appeals to your hearts, my friends, if wha you recollect with most pleasure, are not the innocent, the virtuous, the honourable parts of your past life. The present employment of time should frequently be an object of thought. About what are we now busied? What is the ultimate scope of our present pursuits and cares? Can we justify them to ourselves? Are they likely to produce
anything that will survive the moment, and bring forth
some fruit for futurity?
Is it not strange (says an ingenious writer,) that some persons should be so delicate as not to bear a disagreeable picture in the house, and yet, by their behaviour, force every face they see about them, to wear the gloom of uneasiness and discontent?s - - \
If we are now in health, peace and safety; without any particular or uncommon evils to afflict our condition; what more can we reasonably look for in this vain and uncertain world? How little can the greatest prosperity add to such a state? Will any future situation ever make us happy, if now, with so few causes of grief, we imagine ourselves miserable? The evil lies in the state of our mind, not in our condition of fortune; and by no alteration of circumstances is likely to be remedied
When the love of unwarrantable"pleasures, and of vicious
companions, is allowed to amuse young persons, to engross their time, and to stir up their passions; the day of ruin, let them take heed, and beware! the day of irrecoverable'
ruin begins to draw migh. Fortune is *. health 3.
“... We have seen the husbandman scattering his seed upon i. furrowed ground!. It springs up, is gathered into his f
arns, and crowns his labours with joy and plenty.—Thus
the man who distributes his fortune with generosity and - É. is amply repaid by the gratitude" of those whom
e obliges, by the approbation of his own mind, and by the favour of Heaven. ". . - -
CHAP I. SELECT SENTENCES, &c. 35
bus;* out sn ill one, more contemptible." Vice is infa| mous, though in a prince; and virtue honourable, though | in a peasant. . . , An elevated ; employed in little things, appears (. use the simile of Longinus) like the sun in his evening eclination: 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,”)—I 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 thy self beneficent and charitable, condescending and humane. Though religion removes not all the evils of life, though it promises no continuance' of undisturbed prosperity, to indeed it were not salutary" for man always to enjoy,) yet, if it mitigates" the evils, which necessarily. to: to our state, it may justly be said to give “rest to them who labour and are heavy laden.” What a smiling aspect" does the love of parents and children, of brothers and sisters, of friends and relations, § to every surrounding object, and every returning day! ith what a lustre does it gild even the small habitation, where this placido intercourse dwells! where such scenes of heartfelt satisfaction succeeded uninterruptedly to one, another! How many clear marks of benevolent" intention appear every where around us! What 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 seases, to em loy 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?” ==
he thought most proper for boys to learn,” answered “Those which they ought to practise when they come to be men.” A wiser than Agesilaus has inculcated" the same sentiment: “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 use. When Aristotle' was asked, “What a man could gain by telling a falsehood,” he replied, “not to be credited when he speaks the truth.” -