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selves! What' crimes would they appear to have perpetrated, in secrecy which to their most intimate companions they durst not reveal !
8. Even when men imagine their thoughts to be innocently employed, they too commonly suffer them to run out into extravagant imaginations and chimerical plans of what they would wish to attain, or choose to be, if they could frame the course of things according to their desire. Though such employments of fancy, come not under the same description with those which are plainly criminal, yet wholly unblamable they seldom are.
9. Besides the waste of time which they occasion, and the misapplication, which they indicate of those intellectual, powers that were given to us for much nobler purposes, such romantic speculation leads us always into the neighbourhood of forbidden regions. They place us on dangerous ground. They are, for the most part, connected with some one bad passion; and they always nourish a giddy and frivolous turn of thought.
10. They unfit the mind for applying with vigour to rational pursuits, or for acquiescing in soher plans of conduct. From that ideal world in which it allows itself to dwell, it returns to the commerce of men, unbent and relaxed, sickly and tainted, averse to discharging the duties, and sometimes disqualified even for relishing the pleasures of ordinary life.
SECTION VI. a Re-volt, ré-volt', to fall off, desert tion of reason 6 Re-bel, re-her, to revolt, to rise in op-h Se-duce, se-duse', to tempt, mislead position
i Calm-ly, kärn'-id, without noizu vi c In-pet-u-os-i-ty, im-pêtsh-u-8s'-e-te, passion violence, fury
i Fer-tile, får'-til, fruitful, abundant u Par-suit, pår-sáte', the act of puzluk Ag-sas-sin, ås-sås'-sin, a murderer ing, chase
2 Co-pi-ous, ko’-pe-os, plentiful, abun. e Dis-corn-pose, dis-kom-pdze', to an dant order, offend
m Trag-i-cal, tråd'-je-kal, mournful, f Dis-qual i-fy, dla-kwol'-e-fl, to makel calamitous
notit, to disable by some natural on Bane-ful, bane'-fül, poisonous, delegal impediment
structive & In-fat-1-a-tion, in-fåtsh-u-d'-shůn, theo Li-cen-tious, 1/-sen'-shůs, unrestrained
act of striking with fully, deprival by law'or morality
On the evils which flow from unrestrained passions. 1. When man revolted from his maker, his passions rebelled against himself; and, from being originally the ministers of reason, have become the tyrants of the soul. Ilenee, in treating of this subject; two things may be as:
sumed as principles; first, that through the present weakness of the understanding, our passions are often directed towards improper objects; and next, that even when their direction is just, and their objects are innocent, they perpetually tend to run into excess; they always hurry us towards their gratification, with a blind and dangerous impetuosity.
g. On these two points then turns the whole government of our passions : first, to ascertain the proper objects of their pursuit;c and next, to restrain them in that pursuit, when they would carry us beyond the bounds of
If there is any passion which intrudes itself unseasonably into our mind, which darkens and troubles our judgment, or habitually discomposes our temper; which unfits us for properly discharging the duties, or disqualifiess us for cheerfully enjoying the comforts of life, we may certainly conclude it to have gained a dangerous ascendant.
3. The great object which we ought to propose to ourselves is, to acquire a firm and steadfast mind, which the infatuations of passion shall not seduce, nor its violence shake; which, resting on fixed principles, shall
, in the midst of contending emotions, remain free, and master of itself; able to listen calmly to the voice of conscience, and prepared to obey its díctates without hesitation.
4. To obtain, if possible, such command of passion, is one of the highest attainments of the rational nature. Arguments to show its importance crowd upon us from every quarter. If there be any fertile; source of mischief to human life, it is, beyond doubt, the misrule of passion. It is this which poisons the enjoyment of individuals, overturns the order of society, and strews the path of life with so many miseries, as to render it indeed the vale of tears.
5. All those great scenes of public calamity, which we behold with astonishment and horror, have originated from the source of violent passions. These have overspread the earth with bloodshed. These have pointed the assassin'sk dagger, and filled the poisoned bowl.These, in every age, have furnished too copious' materials for the orator's pathetic declamation, and for the poet's tragicalm song.
6. When from public life we descend to private conduct, though passion operates not there in so wide and destructive a sphere, we shall find its influence to be no
less baneful. I need not mention the black and fierce passions, such as envy, jealousy, and revenge, whose et. fects are obviously noxious, and whose agitations are immediate misery.
7. But take any of the licentious and sensual kind. Suppose it to have unlimited scope; trace it throughout its course; and we shall find that gradually, as it rises, it taints the soundness, and troubles the peace of his mind, over whom it reigns; that, in its progress, it engages him in pursuits which are marked either with dan
or with shame; that, in the end, it wastes his fortune, destroys his health, or debases his character; and aggravates all the miseries in which it has involved him, with the concluding pangs of bitter remorse. Through all the stages of this fatal course, how many have heretofore run? What multitudes do we daily behold pursuing it, with blind and headlong steps?
SECTION VII. a Un-a-void-a-ble
, in-a-völd -&-bl, in je Con-cern kon-sern', to relate to, iny Sus-pic-jous, sås-pish'-ås, inclined to f Vi-o-lent, vi-8-lent, forcible, vehesuspect
ment e Aid, áde, help, support, to help, tolg Disg-uise, dizg-ylze', to conceal, dis
support a Ce-ment, sè-ment', to unite by means h In-junc-tion, In-jůnk’-shån, command, of something interposed
On the proper state of our temper, with respect to one another.
1. It is evident, in the general, that if we consult either public welfare or private happiness, Christian charity ought to regulate our disposition in mutual inter
But as this great principle admits of several diversified appearances, let us consider some of the chie. forms under which it ought to show itself in the usual tenor of life.
2. What, first, presents itself to be recommended, is a peaceable temper; a disposition averse to give offence, and desirous of cultivating harmony, and amicable intercourse in society. This supposes yielding and condescending manners, unwillingness to contend with others about trifles, and, in contests that are unavoidable,« proper moderation of spirit. Such a temper is the first principle of self-enjoyment. It is the basis of all order and happiness among mankind.
3. The positive and contentious, the rude and quarrel
some, are the bane of society. They seem destined to plast the small share of comfort which nature has here allotted to man. But they cannot disturb the peace of others, more than they break their own. The hurricane rages first in their own bosom, before it is let forth
upon the world. In the tempests which they raise, they are always tost; and frequently it is their lot to perish.
4. A peaceful temper must be supported by a candid one, or a disposition to view
the conduct of others with fairness and impartiality. This stands opposed, to a jealous and suspicious temper, which ascribes every action to the worst motive, and throws a black shade over every character. If we would be happy in ourselves, or in our connexions with others, let us guard against this malignant spirit.
5. Let us study that charity "which thinketh no evil;'' that temper which, without degenerating into credulity, will dispose us to be just ; and which can allow us to observe an error, without imputing it as a crime. Thus we shall be kept free from that continual irritation, which imaginary injuries raise in a suspicious breast; and shall walk among men as our brethren, not as our enemies.
6. But to be peaceable, and to be candid, is not all that is required of a good man. He must cultivate a kind, generous, and sympathizing temper, which feels for distress, wherever it is beheld ; which enters into the concerns of his friends with ardour ; and to all with whom he has intercourse, is gentle, obliging, and humane.
7. How amiable appears such a disposition, when contrasted with a malicious or envious temper, which wraps itself up in its own narrow interest, looks with an evil eye on the success of others, and, with an unnatural satisfactjon, seeds on their disappointments or miseries! How little does he know of the true happiness of life, who is a stranger to the intercourse of good offices and kind affections, which, ly a pleasing charm, attaches men to one another, and circulates joy from heart to heart !
8. We are not to imagine, that a benevolent temper finds no exercise, unless when opportunities offer of performing actions of high generosity, or of extensive utility. These may seldom occur. The condition of the greater part of mankind, in a good measure, precludes them. But, in the ordinary round of human affairs, many occasions daily present themselves, of mitigating the vexations which others suffer ; of soothing their minds ; of
aidinge their interest; of promoting their cheerfulness, or
Such occasions may relate to the smaller incidents of life.
9. But let us remember, that of small incidents the system of human life is chiefly composed. The attentions which respect these, when suggested by real benignity of temper, are often more material to the happiness of those around us, than actions which carry the appearance of greater dignity and splendour. No wise or good man ought to account any rules of behaviour as below his regard, which tend to cementthe great brotherhood of mankind in comfortable union.
10. Particularly amidst that familiar intercourse which belongs to domestic life, all the virtues of temper find an ample range. It is very unfortunate, that within that circle, men too often think themselves at liberty, to give unrestrained vent to the caprice of passion and humour. Whereas there, on the contrary, more than any where else, it concernse them to attend to the government of their heart.; to check what is violents in their tempers, and to soften what is harsh in their mannerg.
11. For there the temper is formed. There the real character displays itself. The forms of the world disguises men when abroad. But within his own family, every man is known to be wþat he truly is. In all our intercourse then with others, particularly in that which is closest and most intimate, let us cultivate a peaceable, a candid, a gentle, and friendly temper. This is the temper to which, by repeated injunctions,' our holy religion seeks to Orm us. This was the temper of Christ. This is the temper of Heaven.
SECTION VIII. a In-ex-haus-ti-ble, in-eks-håws'-te-bl, animate by supernatural infusion not to be spent
e De-vout, de vođi', pious, religious O Ma-lev-o-lence, má-lèv'-vd-lense, ill.f Mag-nif-i-cent, mág-nif'-se-sent, grand will, spite
in appearance c Pa-tri-ot-ism, på'-tré-8t-izm, love of g Brev-i-ty, hrèv'-e-te, conciseness, one's country
shortuess d In-spire, in-spire', to breathe into, uc
Excellence of the Holy Scriptures. 1 Is it bigotry to believe the sublime truths of the Gospel, with full' assurance of faith ? I glory in such bigotry. I would not part with it for a thousand worlds.I congratulate the man who is possessed of it: for, a