Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Difidence of our abilities, a mark of wisdom 1. It is a sure indication of good sense, to be diffident of it. We then, and not till then, are growing wise, when we begin to discerna how welk and unwise we are. An absolute perfection of understanding, is impossible : he makes the nearest approaches to it, who has the sense to discern, and the humility, to acknowledge its imperfections,

2. Modesty always sits gracefullye upon youth; it cove ers a multitude of faults, and doubles the lustre of every virtue which it seems to hide : the perfections of men be ing like those flowers which appear more beautiful, when their leaves are a little contracted and folded up, than when they are full blown, and display themselves without any reserve, to the view.

3. We are some of us very fond of knowledge, and apt to value ourselves upon any proficiency, in the sciences: one science, however, there is, worth more than all the rest, and that is, the science of living well, which shall remain, when * tongues shall cease,

" and "knowledge shall vanish away."

4. As to new notions, and new doctrines, of which 'this

age is very fruitful, the time will come, when we shall have ro pleasure in them : nay, the time shall

come, when they shall be exploded, and would have been forgotten, if they had not been preserved in those excellent books, which contain a confutations of them; like insects preserved for ages in amber," which otherwise would soon have returned to the common mass of things.

5. But a firm belief of Christianity, and a practice suitable to it, will support and invigorate the mind to the last; and most of all, at last, at that important hour, which inust decide our hopes and apprehensions : and the wisdom, which, like our Saviour, cometh from above, will through his merits bring us thither. All our other studies and pursuits, however different, ought to be subservient to, and centre in, this grand point, the pursuit of eternal happiness, by being good in ourselves, and useful to the world.

SEED

SECTION VIII. . Com-mit, kôm-mit', to intrust, impri who has a thing, in trust, a plaer son, perpetrats

where a thing is deposited De-pov-it-k-ry, dd-poz-It-d-re, opole Space, spise, room, quantity of its

[ocr errors]

wasto

d En-croach, en-krótsh', to make inva-l Cov-e-tous, kåv'-ve-tås, avaricious, sion upon the rights of others

eager e Dis-po-sal, die-po'-zal, regulation, dis-m Prod-i-gal, prod'-de-gal, wasteful, s tribution

spendthrift f Sur-ren-der sår-rén-dor, to deliver n Re-gret, ré-grét', bitter reflection, to up

repent & Cha-os, ka-88, the state of matter o Con-fu-sion, kon-fu-zhin, astonishbefore the creation, irregular mix

ment, tumult ture

p Re-pent-ance, re-pént'-Anse, sorrow Ap-pre-ci-a-tion, dp-pre-she-d'-shin, for sin

estimation, the act of setting a val-a Ad-guish, ang'-gwish, excessive pain ue upon any thing

fr Man-i-fold, mån'-ne-fold, of different i Squan-der, skwon-důr, to lavish, kinds

s Re-deem, ré-déem', to ransom, to j Ia-con-sid-er-ate, in-kôn-sid'-er-ate,

'pardon thoughtless

It Pro-long, pro-long', to lengthen out Pro-fu-sion, prð-fa'-zhån, extrava- u Ar-rest, år-rest', a restraint of a man's gance

person, to stop On the importance of order in the distribution of our tine.

1. TIME we ought to consider as a sacred trust coinmitteda to us by God; of which we are now the depositaries, and are to render an account at the last. That portion of it which he has allotted to us, is intended partly for the concerns of this world, partly for those of the next. Let each of these occupy, in the distribution of our time, thạt space which properly belongs to it.

4. Let not the hours of hospitality and pleasure interfere with the discharge of our necessary affairs; and let: not what we call necessary affairs, encroacha upon the time which is due to devotion. To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven. If we delay till to-morrow what ought to be done to-day, We overcharge the morrow with a burden which belongs not to it. We load the wheels of time, and prevent them from carrying us along smoothly.

3. He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows out that plan, carries on a thread which will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light, which darts itself through all his affairs. But, where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrenderedt merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits neither of distribution

nor review. 4. The first requisite for introducing order into the management of our time, is to be impressed with a just sense of its value. Let us consider well how much depends upon it, and how fast it flies away. The bulk of

out.

nen are in nothing more capricious or inconsistent, than in their appreciation of time. When they think of it, as the measure of their continuance on earth, they highly prize it, and with the greatest anxiety seek to lengthen it

5. But when they view it in separate parcels, they appear to hold it in contempt, and squandere it with inconsideratej profusion.« While they complain that life is short, they are often wishing its different periods at an end. Covetous of every other possession, of time only they are prodigal.m They allow every idle man to be master of this property, and make every frivolous occupation welcome that can help them to consume it.

6. Among those who are so careless of time, it is not to be expected that order should be observed in its distribution. But by this fatal neglect, how many materials of severe and lasting regretn are they laying up in store for themselves! The time which they suffer to pass away in the midst of confusion,o bitter repentancer seeks afterwards in vain to recal. What was omitted to be done at, its proper moment, arises to be the torment of some future season.

7. Manhood is disgraced by the consequences of neglected youth. Old age, oppressed by cares that belonged to a former period, labours under a burden not its own. At the close of life, the dying man beholds with anguishg that his days are finishing, when his preparation for eternity is hardly commenced. Such are the effects of a disorderly waste of time, through "not attending to its value. Every thing in the life of such persons is misplaced. Notning is performed aright, from not being performed in due season.

8. But he who is orderly in the distribution of his time, takes the proper method of escaping those manifoldevils. He is justly said to redeem the time. By proper management, he prolongse it. He lives much in little space; more in a few years than others do in many. He can live to God and his own soul, and at the same time attend to all the lawful interests of the present world. He looks back on the past, and provides for the future.

9. He catches and arrests the hours as they fly. They are marked down for useful purposes, and their memory remains. Whereas those hours fleet by the man of confusion like a shadow. His days and years are either blanks of which he has no remembrance, or they are file

led

up with so confused and irregular succession of unfinished transactions, that though he remembers he has Geen busy, yet he can give no account of the business which has employed him.

BLAIR.

SECTION IX. a A-dorn, &-dorn', to deck with orna number ments

Th In-flex-i-ble, in-fléks'-e-bl, not to be Pop-u-lar, pop'-på-ldr, pleasing to the bent penple

li Pos-ter-i-ty, pós-têr'-e-tė, offering, c Mo-ral-i-ty, mo-rål-e-tè, the doctrine children of the duties of life

j A-pos-ta-tize, &-pos’-ta-tize, to ford In-teg-ri-ty, in-tegʻ-gre-te, honesty, sake one's religion purity

k Trans-late, tråns-late', to remove, exe Com-pli-ance, kom«pll'-ånse, yielding, plain accord

1 Con-ta-gi-on, kon-ta'-jé-8n, infection, f De-gen-er-ate, de-jén’-ér-ate, unwor pestilence thy, base

m Fir-ma-ment, fêr'-mà-ınént, the sky, & Mul-ui-tude, mål’-te-tade, a great the heavens

The dignity of virtue amidst corrupt eramples. 1. The most excellent and honourable character which can adorna a man and a Christian, is acquired by resisting the torrent of vice, and adhering to the cause of God and virtue against a corrupted multitude. It will be found to hold in general, that they, who, in any of the great lines of life, have distinguished themselves for thinking profoundly, and acting nobly, have despised popular' prejudices; and departed, in several things, from the common ways of the world.

2. On no occasion is this more requisite for true honour,

than where religion and morality' are concerned. In times of prevailing licentiousness, to maintain unblemished virtue, and uncorrupted integrity;« in a public or a private cause, to stand firm by what is fair and just, amidst discouragements and opposition ; despising groundless censure and reproach ; disdaining all compliance with public manners, when they are vicious and unlawful; and never ashamed of the punctual discharge of every duty tawards God and man ;-this is what shows true greatness of spirit, and will force approbation even from the degenerates multitudes themselves.

3. “This is the man,” (their conscience will oblige them to acknowledge,) " whom we are unable to bend to mean condescensions. We see it in vain either to flatter or to threaten him; he rests on a principle within, which we cannot shake. To this man we may, on any occasion,

safely commit our cause. He is incapable of betraying, his trust, or deserting his friend, or denying his faith."

4. It is, accordingly, this steady inflexiblek virtue, this regard to principle, superior to all custom and opinion, which peculiarly marked the characters of those in any age, who have shown with distinguished lustre; and has consecrated their memory to posterity. It was this that obtained to ancient Enoch the most singular testimony of honour from heaven.

5. He continued to " walk with God,” when the world apostatized, from him. He pleased God, and was beloved of him ; so that living among sinners, he was transla ted* to heaven without seeing death; " Yea, speedily was he taken away, lest wickedness should have altered his understanding, or deceit beguiled his soul.”

6. When Sodom could not furnish ten righteous men to save it, Lot remained unspotted amidst the contagion. He lived like an angel among spirits of darkness; and the destroying flame was not permitted to go forth, till the good man was called away, by a heavenly messenger, from his devoted city.

7. When "all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth,” then lived Noah, a righteous man, and a preacher of righteousness. He stood alone and was scoffed at by the profane crew. But they by the deluge were swept away: while on him, Providence conferred the immortal honour of being the restorer of a better race, and the father of a new world. Such examples as these, and such honours conferred by God on them who withstood the niultitude of evil doers, should often be present to our minds.

8. Let us oppose them to the numbers of low and corrupt examples, which we behold around us; and when we are in hazard of being swayed by such, let us fortify our virtue, by thinking of those who, in former times, shone like stars in the midst of surrounding darkness, and are now shining in the kingdom of heaven, as the brightness of the firmament, for ever and ever.

BLAIR

SECTION X. a In-dulge, in-dilje', to favour, grati å gangrene, vexation fy

d Dis-as-trous, diz-ds'-trås, unlucky, ca Pre-dom-i-nant, pre-dom'-e-nânt, pre lamitous valent, over-ruling

le Ex-e-crate, ek'-sé-kráte, to curse, at: c Mor-ti-fi-ca-tion, mor-te-fe-kå'ubin, i bor

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »