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He that waits for an opportunity to do much at once, may breathe out his life in idle wishes; and regret, in the last hour, his useless intentions and barren zeal.
The spirit of true religion breathes mildoess and af fability. It gives a native, unaffected ease to the bebaviour. It is social, kiod, and cheerful ; far removed from that gloomy and illiberal superstition, which clouds the brow, sharpens the temper, dejects the spirit, and teaches men to fit themselves for another world, by_neglecting the concerns of this.
Reveal none of the secrets of thy friend. Be faithtul to his interests. Forsake him not in danger. Abu hor the thought of acquiring any advaotage hy his prejudice.
Man, always prosperous, would be giddy and insolent; always afflicted, would be sullen or despondent. Hopes and fears, joy aod sorrow, are, therefore, so blended in his life, as both to give room for worldly pursuits, and to recall, from time to time, the admo. nitions of conscience.
Time orice past never returns ; the moment which is lost, is lost forever.
There is nothing on earth so stable, as to assure us of undisturbed rest ; nor 80 powerlui, as to afford us constant protection.
The house of feasting too often becomes an avenue to the house of mourning. Short to the licentious, is the interval between them.
It is of great importance to us, to form a proper estimate of human life ; without either Joading it with imaginary evils, or expecting from it greater advantages than it is able to yield.
Among all our corrupt passions, there is a strong and intimate connexion. When any one of them is adopted into our family, it seldom quits until it has fathered upon us all its kindred. Charity, like the sun, brightens every object on
which it shines ; a censorious disposition casts every character into the darkest shade it will bear.
Many men mistake the love, for the practice, of vir. tue; and are not so much good men, as the friends of goodness.
Genuine virtue has a language that speaks to every heart throughout the world. It is a language which is understood by all. ln every region, every clime, the homage paid to it is the same. In ao one sentiment were ever mankind more generally agreed.
The appearances of our security are trequently deceitful. When our sky seems most settled and serene, in some unobserved quarter gathers the little black cloud, in which the tempest fermeats, and prepares to discharge itself on our head.
The man of true fortitude may be compared to the castle built on a rock, which defies the attacks of surrounding waters; the man of a feeble and timorous spirit, to a hut placed on the shore, which every wind shakes, and every wave overflows,
Nothing is so inconsistent with self-possession, as violent anger. It overpowers reason ; confounds our ideas ; distorts the appearance, and blackens the colour of every object. By the storms which it raises within, and by the mischiefs which it occasions without,it generally brings, on the passionate and revengeful man, greater misery than he can bring on the object of his resentment.
The palace of virtue has, in all ages, been repre. sented as placed on the summit of a hill; in the ascent of which, labor is requisite, and difficulties are to be surmounted ; and where a conductor is needed, to direct our was, and to aid our steps.
In judging of others, let us always think the best, and employ the spirit of charity and candour. But in judging of ourselves, we ought to be exact and severe.
Let him that desires to see others happy, make Waste to give while his gift can be enjoyed ; and remember, that every moment of delay,takes a way something from the value of his benefaction. And let hini who proposes his own happiness 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 strains allure to ruin. There is a banquet spread, where poison is in erery dish. There is a couch which invites them to repose,but to slunber 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 bitterress, his heart feels, we can pronounce little concerning him.
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 look back on a life usefully and virtuously employ. ed ; to trace our own progress in existence, by such tokens as excite neither shame nor sorrow. It vught, therefore, to be the care of toose who wish to pass the Jast hours with comfort, to lay up such a treasure of pleasing ideas, as shall support the expenses of that time, which is to depend wholly upon the fund already acquired.
Waat avails the show of external liberty, to one who has lost the government of himself?
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 flaters his passions, but which corrupts his principles, disorders his temper, and, finally, oversets his virtue ?
What misery does the vicious man secretly endure! Adversity' bow blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver, in comparison with those of guilt!
Wben we bave no pleasure in goodness, we may with cer.
tainty conclude the reason to be, that our pleasure is all deri. ved 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 sensual pleasure, the riots ot jollity, or the displays of show and vanity ? No: I appeal to your hearts, my friends, if what you recollect with most pleasure, are not the innocent, the virtuous, the honour. able 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 any thing that will survive the moment, and bring forth soine fruit for fiutiuity ?
Is it not strange, (says an ingenious writer,) that some persons should be so delicate as not to bear a disagreeable pie. ture in the house, and yet, by their behaviour, force every face they see about them, to wear the gloom of uneasiness and discontent?
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 word ? How little can the greatest prosperity add to such a state ! Will any future situation ever make us happy, if now, with so few cases of grief, we imagine ourselves miserable ? The evil lies in the state of mind, not in our condition of forlune ; 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 be ware !--the day, of irrecoverable ru'n, begins to draw nigh. Fortune is squandered ; health is bro. ken; friends are offended, affronied, estranged ; aged parents, perhaps, sent afflicted and mourning, to the dust.
On whom does time hang so hi avily, as on the slothful and lazy ? To whom are the hours so lingering? Who are so of. ten devoured with spleen, and obliged to fly to every expedi. ent, which can help them to get rid of themselves! Instead of producing tranquility, indolence produces a fretful restless. ness of mind ; gives rise to cravirigs which are never satisfie ed; nourishes a sickly, effeminate delicacy, which sours and corrupts every pleasure.
We have seen the husbandman scattering his seed upon the furrowed ground! It springs up, is gathered into his baros, and crowns his labours with joy and plenty.–Thus the man who distributes his fortune with generosity and prudence, is amply repaid by the gratitude of those whom he obliges ; by the approbation of his owo mind; and by the favour of Heaven.
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 honorable, 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 relains his magnitude ; and pleases inore, though he dazzles.less
If envious people were to ask theinselves whether they would exchange their entire situations with the persons envied, [I mean their ininds, passions, notions, as well as their persons, tortunes, and dignities,] I presume the self-love common to human nature, would generally make thera prefer their own cundition.
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 P-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 undisturber