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not study it too much. It seems particu- study this part of scripture ; some years larly designed to guard Christians against hence, perhaps, there may be no objecmisunderstanding some things in St. Paul's tion to your attempting it, and taking writings, which have been fatally pervert- into your bands the best expositions, to ased to the encouragement of a dependence sist you in reading such of the most diffion faith alone, without good works. But cult parts of the New Testament as you the more rational commentators will tell cannot now be supposed to understand. you, that, by the works of the law, which May Heaven direct you in studying this the Apostle asserts to be incapable of justi- sacred volume, and render it the means of fying us, he means, not the works of inoral making you wise unto salvation ! May righteousness, but the ceremonial works you love and reverence, as it deserves, this of the Mosaic law; on which the Jews blessed and invaluable book, which coalaid the greatest stress, as necessary to sal. tains the best rule of life, the clearest devation. But St. James tells us, that, “ If claration of the will and laws of the Deity, “any man among us seem to be religious, the reviving assurance of favour to true “ and bridleth not his tongue, but de- penitents, and the unspeakably joyful ti“ceiveth his own heart, that man's reli- dings of eternal life and happiness to all “gion is vain :”—and that “pure reli- the truly virtuous, through Jesus Christ, “gion, and undefiled before God and the the Saviour and deliverer of the world! “ Father, is this, to visit the fatherless
Ibid. “and widow in their affliction, and to “ keep himself unspotted from the world.” FROM THE ECONOMY OF HU
MAN LIFE. Faith in Christ, if it produce not these effects, he declareth, is dead, or of no power.
Dodsley. Mrs. Chupone.
§ 150. APPLICATION.
Since the days that are past are gone § 148. Epistles of St. Peter, and the forever, and those that are to come may not first of St. John.
come to thee; it behoveth thee, O man ! The Epistles of St. Peter are also full to employ the present time, without reof the best instructions and admonitions, gretting the loss of that which is past, or too concerning the relative duties of life: much depending on that which is to come. amongst which are set forth the duties of This instant is thine: the next is in the women in general, and of wives in parti- womb of futurity, and thou knowest not cular. Some part of his second Epistle is what it may bring forth. prophetical; warning the church of false Whatsoever thou resolvest to do, do it teachers and false doctrines, which should quickly. Defer not till the evening what undermine morality, and disgrace the cause the morning may accomplish. of Christianity.
Idleness is the parent of want and of The first of St. John is written in a pain; but the labour of virtue bringeth highly figurative style, which makes it, in forth pleasure. some parts, hard to be understood; but The hand of diligence defeateth want; the spirit of divine love, which it so fer- prosperity and success are the industrious vently expresses, renders it highly edify- , man's attendants. ing and delightful. That love of God Who is he that hath acquired wealth, and of men, which this beloved apostle so that hath risen to power, that hath clothed pathetically recommends, is in truth the himself with honour, that is spoken of in essence of religion, as our Saviour himself the city with praise, and that standeth before informs us.
Ibid. the king in his council ? Even he that hath
shut out idleness from his house; and hath $149. Of the Revelations.
said unto Sloth, 'Thou art mine enemy. The book of the Revelations contains a'
He riseth up early, and lieth down late: prophetical account of most of the great he exerciseth his mind with contemplation, events relating to the Christian church, and his body with action, and preserveth which were to happen from the time of the the health of both. writer, St. Jolin, to the end of the world. The slothful man is a burden to himself; Many learned men have taken a great deal his hours hang heavy on his head; he loiof pains to explain it: and they have done tereth about, and knoweth not what he this in many instances very successfully: would do. but I think it is yet too soon for you to
His days pass away like the shadow of a
cloud, and he leaveth behind him no mark From the experience of others, do thou for remembrance.
learn wisdom; and from their failings corHis body is diseased for want of exer- rect thine own faults. cise; he wisheth for action, but hath not Trust no man before thou hast tried power to move; his mind is in darkness; him; yet mistrust not without reason; it is his thoughts are confused; he longeth for uncharitable. knowledge, but hath no application. But when thou hast proved a man to be
He would eat of the almond, but hateth honest, lock him up in thine heart as a the trouble of breaking its shell.
treasure ; regard him as a jewel of inestiHis house is in disorder, his servants are mable price. wasteful and riotous, and he runneth on Refuse the favours of a mercenary man; towards ruin; he seeth it with his eyes, he they will be a snare unto thee : thou shalt heareth it with his ears, he shaketh his never be quit of the obligations. head, and wisheth, but bath no resolution; Use not to-day what to-morrow may till ruin cometh upon him like a whirlwind, want : neither leave that to hazard which and shame and repentance descend with foresight may provide for, or care prevent. him to the grave.
Yet expect not even from Prudence in
fallible success; for the day knoweth not § 151. Prudence.
what the night may bring forth. Hear the words of Prudence, give heed The fool is not always unfortunate, nor unto her counsels, and store them in thine the wise man always successful; yet never heart: lier maxims are universal, and all had a 'fool a thorough enjoyment; never the virtues lean upon her : she is the guide was a wise man wholly unhappy. and mistress of human life. Put a bridle on thy tongue; set a guard
§ 152. TEMPERANCE. before thy lips, lest the words of thine The nearest approach thou canst make own mouth destroy thy peace.
to happiness on this side the grave, is to enLet him that scoffeth at the lame, take joy from heaven understanding and health. care that he halt not himself; whosoever These blessings if thou possessest, and speaketh of another's failings with plea- wouldst preserve to old age, avoid the alsure, shall hear of his own with bitterness lurements of Voluptuousness, and fly from of heart.
her temptations. Of much speaking cometh repentance, When she spreadeth her delicacies on the but in silence is safety.
board, when her wine sparkleth in the cup, A talkative man is a nuisance to society; when she smileth upon thee, and persuadeth the ear is sick of his babbling, the torrent thee to be joyful and happy; then is the of his words overwhelmeth conversation. hour of danger,then let Reason stand firmly
Boast not of thyself, for it shall bring on her guard. contempt upon thee; neither deride an- For if thou hearkenest unto the words other, for it is dangerous.
of her adversary, thou art deceived and A bitter jest is the poison of friendship; betrayed. and he that cannot restrain his tongue, The joy which she promiseth changeth shall have trouble.
to madness, and her enjoyments lead on to Furnish thyself with the proper accom- diseases and death. modations belonging to thy condition; yet
Look round her board ; cast thine eyes spend not to the utmost of what thou canst upon her guests, and observe those who afford, that the providence of thy youth have been allured by her smiles, who have
, may be a comfort to thy old age.
listened to her temptation. Let thine own business engage thy atten- Are they not meagre? are they not tion; leave the care of the state to the go- sickly ? are they not spiritless ? vernors thereof.
Their short hours of jollity and riot are Let not thy recreations be expensive, followed by tedious days of pain and delest the pain of purchasing them exceed the jection. She hath debauched and palled pleasure thou hast in their enjoyment. their appetites, that they have no relish for
Neither let prosperity put out the eyes their nicest dainties : her votaries are beof circumspection, nor abundance cut off come her victims ; the just and natural the hands of frugality; he that too much consequence which God hath ordained, in indulgeth in the superfluities of life, shall the constitution of things, for the punishlive to lament the want of its necessaries. ment of those who abuse his gifts.
But who is she that with graceful steps, tion: thy days shall be few, and those inand with a lively air,trips over yonder plain? glorious; thy griefs shall be many, yet
The rose blusheth on her cheeks, the meet with no compassion, sweetness of the morning breathes from her lips: joy, tempered with innocence and
$ 153. Pity. modesty, sparkleth in her eyes, and from As blossoms and flowers are strewed the cheerfulness of her heart she singeth upon earth by the hand of spring, as the as she walks.
kindness of summer produceth in perfecHer name is Health : she is the daughter tion the bounties of harvest; so the smiles of Exercise and Temperance; their sons of pity shed blessings on the children of inhabit the mountains of the northern re- misfortune. gions.
He who pitieth another, recommendeth They are brave, active, and lively, and himself; but he who is without compaspartake of all the beauties and virtues of sion deserveth it not. their sister.
The butcher relenteth not at the bleatVigour stringeth their nerves, strengthing of the lamb, neither is the heart of the dwelleth in their bones, and labour is their cruel moved with distress. delight all the day long.
But the tears of the compassionate are The employments of their father excite sweeter than dew-drops falling from roses their appetites, and the repasts of their on the bosom of the spring. mother refresh them.
Shut not thine ear therefore against the To combat the passions is their delight; cries of the poor ; neither harden thine to conquer evil habits their glory. heart against the calamities of the ingo
Their pleasures are moderate, and there- cent. fore they endure; their repose is short, but When the fatherless call upon thee, when sound and undisturbed.
the widow's heart is sunk, and she imTheir blood is pure, their minds are se- ploreth thy assistance with tears of sorrow; rene, and the physician findeth not the way O pity her affliction, and extend thy hand to their habitations.
to those who have none to help them. But safety dwelleth not with the sons When thou seest the naked wanderer of of men, neither is security found within the street, shivering with cold, and desti
tute of habitation; let bounty open thine Behold them exposed to new dangers heart, let the wings of charity shelter him from without, while a traitor within lurk- from death, that thine own soul may live. eth to betray them.
Whilst the poor man groaneth on the Their health, their strength, their beauty bed of sickness, whilst the unfortunate lanand activity, have raised desire in the guish in the horrors of a dungeon, or the bosom of lascivious Love.
hoary head of age lifts up a feeble eye to She standeth in her bower, she courteth thee for pity: 0 how canst thou riot in their regard, she spreadeth their tempta- superfluous enjoyments, regardless of their tions.
wants, un feeling of their woes! Her limbs are soft and delicate: her attire is loose and inviting. Wantonness speaketh
154. DESIRE and Love. in her eyes,and on her bosom sits temptation. Beware, young man, beware of the alShe beckoneth them with her finger, she lurements of wantonness, and let not the wooeth them with her looks, and by the harlot tempt thee to excess in her desmoothness of her tongue, she endeavour- lights. eth to deceive.
The madness of desire shall defeat its Ab! fly from her allurements, stop thy own pursuits ; from the blindness of its ears to her enchanting words. If thou rage thou shalt rush upon destruction. meetest the languishing of her eyes; if thou Therefore give not up thy heart to her hearest the softness of her voice; if she sweet enticements, neither suffer thy soul casteth her arms about thee, she bindeth to be enslaved by her enchanting deluthee in chains for ever.
sions. Shame followeth, and disease, and want, The fountain of health, which must sup. and care, and repentance.
ply the stream of pleasure, shall quickly be Enfeebled by dalliance,with luxury pam- dried up, and every spring of joy shall be pered, and softened by sloth, strength shall exhausted. forsake thy limbs, and health thy constitu- In the prime of thy life old age shall
overtake thee; thy sun shall decline in the Decency is in all her words, in her anmorning of thy days.
swers are mildness and truth. But when virtue and modesty enlighten Submission and obedience are the lessons her charms, the lustre of a beautiful wo- of her life, and peace and happiness are man is brighter than the stars of heaven, her reward. and the influence of her power it is in vain Before her steps walketh prudence, and to resist.
virtue attendeth at her right-hand. The whiteness of her bosom transcen- Her eye speaketh softness and love; deth the lily; her smile is more delicious but discretion with a sceptre sitteth on her than a garden of roses.
brow. The innocence of her eye is like that of The tongue of the licentious is dumb in the turtle; simplicity and truth dwell in her presence, the awe of her virtue keepher heart.
eth him silent. The kisses of her mouth are sweeter When scandal is busy, and the fame of than honey; the perfumes of Arabia her neighbour is tossed from tongue to breathe from her lips.
tongue; if charity and good-nature open Shut not thy bosom to the tenderness of not her mouth, the finger of silence restlove; the purity of its flame shall ennoble eth on her lip. thy heart, and soften it to receive the fair. Her breast is the mansion of goodest impressions.
ness, and therefore she suspecteth no evil in others.
Happy were the man that should make
her his wife: happy the child that shall § 15. WOMAN.
call her mother.
She presideth in the house, and there is Give ear, fair daughter of love, to the peace; she commandeth with judgment, instructions of prudence, and let the pre- and is obeyed. cepts of truth sink deep in thy heart, 90 She ariseth in the morning, she consishall the charms of thy mind add lustre to ders her affairs, and appointeth to every the elegance of thy form; and thy beauty, one their proper business. like the rose it resembleth, shall retain its The care of her family is her whole desweetness when its bloom is withered. light, to that alone she applieth her study;
In the spring of thy youth, in the morn- and elegance with frugality is seen in her ing of thy days, when the eyes of men gaze mansions. on thee with delight, and nature whispereth The prudence of her management is an in thine ear the meaning of their looks: honour to her husband, and he heareth her ah! hear with caution their seducing words; praise with a secret delight. guard well thy heart, nor listen to their She informeth the minds of her children soft persuasions.
with wisdom : she fashioneth their manRemember that thou art made man's ners from the example of her own goodreasonable companion, not the slave of his ness. passion; the end of thy being is not merely The word of her mouth is the law of to gratify his loose desire, but to assist him their youth, the motion of her eye comin the toils of life, to soothe him with thy mandeth their obedience. tenderness, and recompense his care with She speaketh, and her servants Aly; she soft endearments.
pointeth, and the thing is done ; for the Who is she that winneth the heart of law of love is in their hearts, and her kindman, that subdueth him to love, and ness addeth wings to their feet, reigneth in his breast?
In prosperity she is not puffed up; in Lo! yonder she walketh in maiden adversity she healeth the wounds of forsweetness, with innocence in her mind, tune with patience. and modesty on her cheek.
The troubles of her husband are alleHer hand seeketh employment, her foot viated by her counsels, and sweetened by delighteth not in gadding abroad. her endearments: he putteth his heart in
She is clothed with neatness, she is fed her bosom, and receiveth comfort. with temperance; humility and meekness Happy is the man that hath made her are as a crown of glory circling her head. his wife; happy the child that calleth her
On her tongue dwelleth music, the mother. sweetness of honoy floweth from her lips.
From the fountain of his heart shall rise § 156. Son.
rivers of goodness; and the streams shall From the creatures of God let man learn overflow for the benefit of mankind. wisdom, and apply to himself the instruc- He assisteth the poor in their trouble : tion they give.
he rejoiceth in furthering the prosperity of Go to the desert, my son: observe the all men. young stork of the wilderness; let him He censureth not his neighbour, he speak to thy heart; he beareth on his wings believeth not the tales of envy and mahis aged sire, he lodgeth him with safety, levolence, neither repeateth he their slanand supplieth him with food.
ders. The piety of a child is sweeter than the He forgiveth the injuries of men, he incense of Persia offered to the sun; yea, wipeth them from his remembrance; remore delicious than odours wafted from a
venge and malice have no place in his field of Arabian spices by the western heart. gales.
For evil he returneth not evil; he haBe grateful then to thy father, for he teth not even his enemies, but requiteth gave thee life; and to thy mother, for she their injustice with friendly admonition. sustained thee.
The griefs and anxieties of men excite Hear the words of his mouth, for they his compassion ; he endeavoureth to alleare spoken for thy good : give ear to his viate the weight of their misfortunes, and admonition, for it proceedeth from love. the pleasure of success rewardeth his la
He hath watched for thy welfare, he bour. hath toiled for thy ease: do honour there.
He calmeth the fury, he healeth the fore to his age, and let not his grey hairs quarrels of angry men, and preventeth the be treated with irreverence.
mischiefs of strife and animosity, Forget not thy helpless infancy, nor the He promoteth in his neighbourhood frowardness of thy youth, and indulge the peace and good-will, and his name is reinfirmities of thy aged parents; assist and peated with praise and benediction. support them in the decline of life. So shall their hoary heads go down to
§ 159. Religion. the
grave in peace; and thine own chil- There is but one God, the author, the dren, in reverence of thy example, shall creator, the governor of the world, alrepay thy piety with filial love.
mighty, eternal, and incomprehensible.
The sun is not God, though his noblest $ 157. BROTHERS,
image. He enliveneth the world with his
brightness, his warmth giveth life to the Ye are the children of one father, pro- products of the earth; admire him as the vided for by his care; and the breast of creature, the instrument of God; but worone mother hath given you suck.
ship hiin not. Let the bonds of affection, therefore, unite thee with thy brothers, that peace and beneficent, and to him alone, belong
To the one who is supreme, most wise and happiness may dwell in thy father's worship, adoration, thanksgiving, and house.
praise ! And when ye separate in the world, re- Who hath stretched forth the heavens member the relation that bindeth you to with his hand, who hath described with love and unity; and prefer not a stranger his finger the courses of the stars. to thine own blood.
Who setteth bounds to the ocean, that If thy brother is in adversity, assist it cannot pass; and saith unto the stormy him; if thy sister is in trouble, forsake winds, Be stilí. her not.
Who shaketh the earth, and the nations So shall the fortunes of thy father con- tremble; who darteth his lightnings, and tribute to the support of his whole race; the wicked are dismayed. and his care be continued to you all in
Who calleth forth worlds by the word your love to each other.
of his mouth; who smiteth with his arm,
and they sink into nothing. § 158. CHARITY.
“O reverence the Majesty of the OmHappy is the man who hath sown in “nipoteot; and teinpt not his anger, lest bis breast the seeds of benevolence; the “ thou be destroyed!" produce thereof shall be charity and love. The providence of God is over all his