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The resources of virtue remain entire, when the days of trouble come. They remain with us in sickness, as in health; in poverty, as in the midst of riches; in our dark and solitary hours, no less than when surrounded with friends and cheerful society. The mind of a good man is a kingdom to him, and he can always enjoy it.
We ruin the happiness of life, when we attempt to raise it too high. A tolerable and comfortable state, is all that we can propose to ourselves on earth. Peace and contentment, not bliss, nor transport, are the full portion of man. Perfect joy is reserved for beaven.
Tf we look around us, we shall perceive that the whole universe is full of active powers. Action is indeed the genius of nature. By motion and exertion, the system of being is preserved in vigour. By its different parts always acting in subordination one to another, the perfection of the whole is carried on. The heavenly bodies perpetually revolve. Day and night incessantly repeat their appointed course. Continual operations are going on in the earth, and in the waters. Nothing stands still.
Constantine the Great, was advanced to the sole dominion of the Roman World, A. D. 325; and soon after openly professed the Christian faith.
The letter concludes with this remarkable Postscript: “P.S. Though I am innocent of the charge, and have been bitterly persecuted, yet I cordially forgive my enemies and persecutors.'
The last edition of that valuable work, was carefully compared with the Original MS.
Containing applications of the Dash; of the Notes
of Interrogation and Exclamation; and of the Parenthetical characters.
Grammar, p. 267. Exercises, p. 126.
BEAUTY and strength, combined with virtue and piety, how lovely in the sight of men! how pleasing to Heaven ! peculiarly pleasing, because with every temptation to deviate, they voluntarily walk in the path of duty.
Something there is more needful than expense ;
Gripus has long been ardently endeavouring to fill his chest : and lo! it is now full. Is he happy? and does he use it? Does he gratefully think of the Giver of all good things? Does he distribute to the poor? Alas! these interests have no place in his breast.
What is there in all the pomp of the world, the enjoyments of luxury, the gratification of passion, comparable to the tranquil delight of a good conscience.
To lie down on the pillow, after a day spent in temperance, in beneficence, and in piety, how sweet is it!
We wait till to-morrow to be happy : alas! why not to-day? Shall we be younger ? Are we sure we shall be healthier? Will our passions become feebler, and our love of the world less ?
What shadow can be more vain than the life of a great part of mankind? Of all that eager and bustling crowd which we behold on earth, how few discover the path of true happiness ! how few can we find
whose activity has not been misemployed, and whose course terminates not in confessions of disappointment!
On the one hand, are the divine approbation, and immortal honour; on the other, (remember and beware,) are the stings of conscience, and endless infamy:
As, in riper years, all unseasonable returns to the levity of youth ought to be avoided, (an admonition which equally belongs to both the sexes,) still more are we to guard against those intemperate indul. gences of pleasure, to which the young are unhappily prone,
The bliss of inan, (could pride that blessing find,)
Corrections of the promiscuous instances of defective
Exercises, p. 128.
When Socrates was asked, what man approached the nearest to perfect happiness, he answered: “ That man who has the fewest wants."
She who studies her glass, neglects her heart.
Between passion and lying, there is not a finger's breadth.
The freer we feel ourselves in the presence of
others, the more free are they : be who is free, makes free.
Addison has remarked, with equal piety and truth, " that the creation is a perpetual feast to the mind of a good man.”
He who shuts out all evasion when he promises, loves truth.
The laurels of the warrior are dyed in blood; and bedewed with the tears of the widow and the orphan.
Between fame and true honour, a distinction is to be made. The former is a loud and noisy applause: the latter, a more silent and internal homage. Fame floats on the breath of the multitude: honour rests on the judgment of the thinking. Fame may give praise, while it withholds esteem: true honour implies esteem mingled with respect. The one regards particular distinguished talents: the other looks up to the whole character.
There is a certain species of religion, (if we can give it that name, which is placed wholly in specu. lation and belief; in the regularity of external ho. mage ; or in fiery zeal about contested opinions.
Xenophanes, who was reproached with being timorous, because he would not venture his money in a game at dice, made this manly and sensible reply: “I confess I am exceedingly timorous; for I dare not commit an evil action.”
He loves nobly, (I speak of friendship,) who is not jealous, when he has partners of love.
Our happiness consists in the pursuit, much more than in the attainment, of any temporal good.
Let me repeat it ;-~he only is great who has the habits of
greatness. Prosopopoeia, or personification, is a rhetorical figure, by which we attribute life and action to inanimate objects : as, “ The ground thirsts for rain;" " The earth smiles with plenty.” The proper and rational conduct of men, with
regard to futurity, is regulated by two considerations: first, that much of what it contains, must remain to us absolutely unknown; next, that there are also some events in it which may be certainly known and foreseen.
The gardens of the world produce only deciduous flowers. Perennial ones must be sought in the delightful regions above. Roses without thorns are the growth of paradise alone.
How many rules and maxims of life might be spared, could we fix a principle of virtue within ; and inscribe the living sentiment of the love of God in the affections! He who loves righteousness, is master of all the distinctions in morality.
He who, from the benignity of his nature, erected this world for the abode of men; he who furnished it so richly for our accommodation, and stored it with so much beauty for our entertainment; he who, since first we entered into life, hath followed us, with such a variety of mercies: this amiable and beneficent Being, surely can have no pleasure in our disappointment and distress. He knows our frame;
he remembers we are dust; and looks to frail man, we are assured, with such pity as a father beareth to his children. : One of the first lessons, both of religion and of wisdom, is, to moderate our expectations and hopes; and not to set forth on the voyage of life, like men who expect to be always carried forward with a favourable gale. Let us be satisfied if the path we tread be easy and smooth, though it be not strewed with flowers.
Providence never intended, that the art of living happily in this world should depend on that deep penetration, that acute sagacity, and those refinements of thought, which few possess. It has dealt more graciously with us; and made happiness depend on uprightness of intention, much more thaytı on extent of capacity.