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works; he ruleth and directeth with in- “ speak praise and adoration ; let the finite wisdom.
" actions of thy life shew thy love to his He hath instituted laws for the govern
“ law." ment of the world; he bath wonderfully The Lord is just and righteous, and will varied them in his beings; and each, by judge the earth with equity and truth. his nature, conformeth to bis will.
Hath he established his laws in goodIn the depths of bis mind he revolveth ness and mercy, and shall he not punish all knowledge; the secrets of futurity lie the transgressors thereof? open before him.
O think not, bold man! because thy The thoughts of thy heart are naked to punishment is delayed, that the arm of the his view; he knoweth thy determinations Lord is weakened; neither flatter thyself before they are made.
with hopes that he winketh at thy doWith respect to his prescience, there is ings. nothing contingent; with respect to his His eye pierceth the secrets of every providence, there is nothing accidental. heart, and remembereth them for ever;
Wonderful he is in all his ways; his he respecteth not the persons or the stacounsels are inscrutable; the manner of his tions of men. knowledge transcendeth thy conception. The high and the low, the rich and the
“ Pay therefore to his wisdom all ho- poor, the wise and the ignorant, when the “ nour and veneration, and bow down soul hath shaken off the cumbrous shackles “ thyself in humble and submissive obe- of this mortal life, shall equally receive w dience to supreme direction.”
from the sentence of God a just and The Lord is gracious and beneficent; everlasting retribution according to their he hath created the world in mercy and works. love.
Then shall the wicked tremble, and be His goodness is conspicuous in all his afraid; but the heart of the righteous shall works; he is the fountain of excellence, rejoice in his judgments. the centre of perfection.
“ O fear the Lord, therefore, all the The creatures of his hand declare his “ days of thy life, and walk in the paths goodness, and all their enjoyments speak “ which he hath opened before thee. Let his praise; he clotheth them with beauty, prudence admonish thee, let temperance he supporteth them with food, he preserv. “ restrain, let justice guide thy hand, beeth them with pleasure from generation to “ nevolence warm thy heart, and gratigeneration,
“ tude to heaven inspire thee with devoIf we lift up our eyes to the heavens, “tion. These shall give thee happiness
• his glory shineth forth: if we cast them “ in thy present state, and bring thee to down upon the earth, it is full of his “the mansion of eternal felicity, in the goodness; the hills and the valleys rejoice “ paradise of God." and sing ; fields, rivers, and woods re- This is the true Economy of HUMAN sound his praise.
Life. But thee, O man, he hath distinguished with peculiar favour; and exalted thy
f 160. Death. station above all creatures.
As the production of the metal proveth He hath endued thee with reason, to the work of the alchymist; so is death the maiotain thy dominion: he hath fitted thee test of our lives, the assay which sheweth with language, to improve by society; and the standard of all our actions. exalted thy mind with the powers of me
Wouldst thou judge of a life, examine ditation to contemplate and adore his ini- the period of it; the end crowneth the mitable perfections.
attempt : and where dissimulation is no And in the laws he hath ordained as the more, there truth appeareth. rule of thy life, so kindly hath he suited He hath not spent his life ill, who thy duty to thy nature, that obedience to knoweth to die well; neither can he have his precepts is happiness to thyself. lost all his time, who employeth the last
* O praise his goodness with songs of portion of it to his honour.
thanksgiving, and meditate in silence on He was not born in vain who dieth as “ the wonders of his love; let thy heart he ought; neither hath he lived unprofite “ overflow with gratitude and acknow- ably who dieth happily, " ledgment; let the language of thy lips He that considereth he is to die, is con. tent while he liveth: he who striveth to and shine as lights in the world, by the forget it, hath no pleasure in any thing; influence of a good example. his joy appeareth to him a jewel which he Give us grace to be diligent in our expecteth every moment he shall lose. studies, and that whatever we read we may
Wouldst thou learn to die nobly? let strongly mark, and inwardly digest it. thy vices die before thee. Happy is he Bless our parents, guardians, and inwho endeth the business of his life before structors; and grant that we may make his death; who, when the hour of it them the best return in our power, for cometh, hath nothing to do but to die; giving us opportunities of improvement, who wisheth not delay, because he hath and for all their care and attention to our no longer use for time.
wefare. They ask no return, but that Avoid not death, for it is a weakness; we should make use of those opportunities, fear it not, for thou understandest not and co-operate with their endeavours -O what it is all that thou certainly knowest, grant that we may not disappoint their is, that it putteth an end to thy sorrows. anxious expectations.
Think not the longest life the happiest; Assist us mercifully, O Lord, that we that which is best employed, doth man the may immediately engage in the studies most honour; himself shall rejoice after and duties of the day, and go through death in the advantages of it.
them cheerfully, diligently, and success
fully, $ 161. A Morning Prayer for a young Accept our endeavours, and pardon our
Student at School, or for the common defects, through the merits of our blessed Use of a School.
Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Кпох. Father of All! we return thee most humble and hearty thanks for thy protection of $ 162. An Evening Prayer. us in the night season, and for the refreshment of our souls and bodies in the sweet O Almighty God! again we approach repose of sleep. Accept also our unfeigo- thy mercy-seat, to offer unto thee our ed gratitude for all thy mercies during the thanks and praises for the blessings and helpless age of infancy.
protection afforded us this day; and humContinue, we beseech thee, to guard us bly to implore thy pardon for our maniunder the shadow of thy wing. Our age fold transgressions. is tender, and our nature frail; and, with- Grant that the words of various instrucout the influence of thy grace, we shall tion which we have heard or read this surely fall.
day, may be so inwardly grafted in our Let that influence descend into our hearts and memories, as to bring forth the hearts, and teach us to love thee and truth fruits of learning and virtue. above all things. O guard us from temp- Grant that as we recline on our pillows, tations to deceit, and grant that we may we may call to mind the transactions of abhor a lie, both as a sin and as a dis- the day, condemn those things of which grace.
our conscience accusesus, and make and Inspire us with an abhorrence of the keep resolutions of amendment. loathsomeness of vice, and the pollutions Ĝrant that thy holy angels may watch of sensual pleasure. Grant, at the same over us this night, and guard us from time, that we may early feel the delight of temptation, excluding all improper conscious purity, and wash our hands in thoughts, and filling our breasts with the innocency, from the united motives of in- purest sentiments of piety. Like as the clination and of duty.
hart panteth for the water-brook, so let Give us, O thou Parent of all know- our souls thirst for thee, O Lord, and for ledge, a love of learning, and a taste for whatever is excellent and beautiful in the pure
and sublime pleasures of the un- learning and behaviour. derstanding. Improve our memory, quick- Correct, by the sweet influence of en our apprehension, and grant that we Christian charity, the irregularities of may lay up such a store of learning, as our temper; and restrain every tendency
fit us for the station to which it shall to ingratitude, and to ill-usage of our paplease thee to call us, and enable us to rents, teachers, pastors, and masters. make great advances in virtue and religion, Teach us to know the value of a good
education, and to be thankful to those omit to pray for it; and avert whatever who labour in the improvement of our is hurtful, though in the blindness of our minds and morals. Give us grace to be hearts we should desire it. reverent to our superiors, gentle to our Into thy hands we resign ourselves, as equals or inferiors, and benevolent to all we retire to rest; hoping by thy mercy, mankind. Elevate and enlarge our senti- to rise again with renewed spirits, to go ments, and let all our conduct be regu- through the business of the morrow, and lated by right reason, attended with to prepare ourselves for this life, and for Christian charity, and that peculiar ge- a blessed immortality; which we ardently nerosity of mind, which becomes a liberal hope to attain, through the merits and inscholar, and a sincere Christian.
tercession of thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus O Lord, bestow upon us whatever may Christ our Lord. Amen. be good for us, even though we should
END OF THB FIRST BOOK.
BOOK THE SECOND.
CLASSICAL AND HISTORICAL.
§ 1. Beneficial Effects of a Taste for the it naturally tends to produce on human BELLES LETTREE.
life. The most busy man, in the most
active sphere, cannot be always occupied ELLES Lettres and Criticism chiefly by business. Men of serious professions with those powers of taste and imagina- thought. Neither can the most gay and tion, which were intended to embellish flourishing situations of fortune afford any his mind, and to supply him with ra- man the power of filling all his hours with tional and useful entertainment
. They pleasure. Life must always languish in open a field of investigation peculiar to the hands of the idle. It will frequently themselves. All that relates to beauty, languish even in the hands of the busy, if harmony, grandeur, and elegance; all they have not some employment subsithat can sooth the mind, gratify the diary to that which forms their main fancy, or move the affections, belongs to pursuit. How then shall those vacant their province. They present human na- spaces, those unemployed intervals, which, ture under a different aspect from that more or less, occur in the life of every which it assumes when viewed by other one, be filled up? How can we contrive sciences. They bring to light various to dispose of them in any way that shall springs of action, which, without their be more agreeable in itself, or more conaid, might have passed unobserved; and sonant to the dignity of the human mind, which, though of a delicate nature, fre- than in the entertainments of taste, and quently exert a powerful influence on the study of polite literature? He who several departments of human life. is so happy as to have acquired a relish
Such studies have also this peculiar ad- for these, has always at hand an innocent vantage, that they exercise our reason and irreproachable amusement for bis leiwithout fatiguing it. They lead to in- sure hours, to save him from the danger quiries acute, but not paiosul; profound, of many a pernicious passion. He is not but not dry nor abstruse. They strew in hazard of being a burden to himself. flowers in the path of science; and while He is not obliged to fly to low company, they keep the mind bent, in some degree, or to court the riot of loose pleasures, in and active, they relieve it at the same order to cure the tediousness of existence, time from that more toilsome labour to Providence seems plainly to have pointwhich it must submit in the acquisition ed out this usesul purpose, to which the of necessary erudition, or the investiga- pleasures of taste may be applied, by intertion of abstract truth.
posing them in a middle station between § 2. Beneficial Effects of the Cultivation intellect. We were not designed to grovel
the pleasures of sense and those of pure of TASTE.
always among objects so low as the forThe cultivation of Taste is further re- mer; nor are we capable of dwelling concommended by the happy effects which stantly in so high a region as the latter.
The pleasures of taste refresh the mind af- exercise of taste is, in its native tendency, ter the toils of the intellect,and the labours moral and purifying. From reading the of abstract study; and they gradually raise most admired productions of genius, wheit above the attachments of sense, and pre- ther in poetry or prose, almost every one pare it for the enjoyments of virtue. rises with some good impression left on
So consonant is this to experience, that his mind; and though these may not alin the education of youth, no object has ways be durable, they are at least to be in every age appeared more important to ranked among the means of disposing the wise men than to tincture them early with heart to virtue. One thing is certain, and a relish for the entertaininents of taste. I shall hereafter have occasion to illustrate The transition is commonly made with it more fully, that, without possessing the ease from these to the discharge of the virtuous affections in a strong degree, no higher and more important duties of life. man can attain eminence in the sublime Good hopes may be entertained of those parts of eloquence. He must feel what a whose minds have this liberal and elegant good man feels, if he expects greatly to turn. It is favourable to many virtues. move or to interest mankind. They are Whereas to be entirely devoid of relish for the ardent sentiments of honour, virtue, eloquence, poetry, or any of the fine arts, magnanimity, an public spirit, that only is justly construed to be an unpromising can kindle that fire of genius, and call up symptom of youth; and raises suspicions into the mind those high ideas which atof their being prone to low gratifications, tract the admiration of ages; and if this or destined to drudge in the more vulgar spirit be necessary to produce the most and illiberal pursuits of life.
Blair. distinguished efforts of eloquence, it must § 3. Improvement of Taste connected with proper taste and feeling.
be necessary also to our relishing them
Ibid, with Improvement in VIRTUE. There are indeed few good dispositions
§ 4. On STYLE. of any kind with which the improvement
It is not easy to give a precise idea of of taste is not more or less connected. A what is meant by Style. The best defini. cultivated taste increases sensibility to all tion I can give of it is, the peculiar mau
his the tender and humane passions, by giv. ner in which a man expresses conceping them frequent exercise; while it tends tions, by means of Language. It is ditto weaken the more violent and fierce ferent from mere Language or words. The emotions.
words, which an author employs, may be
proper and faultless; and his Style may, Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes nevertheless, have great faults; it may
be Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros*.
dry, or stiff, or feeble, or affected. Style The elevated sentiments and high exam- has always some reference to an author's ples which poetry, eloquence, and history manner of thinking. It is a picture of the are often bringing under our view, natu- ideas which rise in his mind, and of the rally tend to nourish in our ininds public manner in which they rise there; and spirit, the love of glory, contempt of ex- hence, when we are examining an author's ternal fortune, and ihe admiration of what composition, it is, in many cases, extremely is truly illustrious and great.
difficult to separate the Style from the senI will not go so far as to say that the timent. No wonder these two should be so improvement of taste and of virtue is the intimately connected, as Style is nothing same, or that they may always be expect- else, than that sort of expression which our ed to co-exist in an equal degree. More thoughts most readily assume. Hence, difpowerful correctives than taste can apply, ferent countries have been noted for pecuare necessary for reforming the corrupt liarities of Style, suited to their different propensities which too frequently prevail temper and genius. The eastern nations among mankind. Elegant speculations animated their Style with the most strong are sometimes found to float on the surface and hyperbolical figures. The Athenians, of the mind, while bad passions possess the a polished and acute people, formed a interior regions of the heart. At the same Style, accurate, clear, and neat. The Asiatime this cannot but be admitted, that the tics, gay and loose in their manners, affect
* The polish'd arts have humaniz'd mankind, Sosten'd the rude, and calm'd the boist'rous mind.