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predominate within you. As soon as you for the want of which, others are not find the tempest rising, have recourse to morally culpable, nor accountable to every proper method, either of allaying God : and hence the opinion has someits violence, or escaping to a calmer times prevailed, that a bad temper might shore. Hasten to call up emotions of an be consistent with a state of grace. If opposite nature. Study to conquer one this were true, it would overturn that passion by means of some other which is whole doctrine, of which the gospel is so of less dangerous tendency. Never ac- full, • that regeneration, or change of count any thing small or trivial which is ‘nature, is the essential characteristic of a in hazard of introducing disorder into Christian.' It would suppose, that grace your heart. Never make light of any de- might dwell amidst malevolence and ransire which you feel gaining such progress cour, and that heaven might be enjoyed as to threaten entire dominion. Blan- by such as are strangers to charity and dishing it will appear at the first. As a love. It will readily be admitted that gentle and innocent emotion, it may steal some, by the original frame of their mind, into the heart; but as it advances, is are more favourably inclined than others, likely to pierce you through with many towards certain good dispositions and hasorrows. What you indulged as a fa- bits. But this affords no justification to vourite amusement will shortly become a those who neglect 10 oppose


corrupserious business, and in the end may prove tions to which they are prone. Let no the burden of your life. Most of our pas- man imagine, that the human heart is a sions flatter us in their rise, but their be. soil altogether unsusceptible of culture! or ginnings are treacherous: their growth is that the worst temper may not, through imperceptible; and the evils which they the assistance of grace, be reformed by at

, carry in their train, lie concealed, until tention and discipline. Settled depravity their dominion is established. What So- of temper is always owing to our own inlomon says of one of them, holds true of dulgence. If, in place of checking, we

, them all, that their beginning is as when nourish that malignity of disposition to

one letteth out water.' It issues from a which we are inclined, all the consesinall chink, which once might have been quences will be placed to our account, easily stopped; but being neglected, it is and every excuse, from natural constitu

, soon widened by the stream, till the tion, be rejected at the tribunal of Heabank is at last totally thrown down, and

Ibid. the food is at liberty to deluge the whole plain.


$ 58. A peaceable Temper and condescend

ing Manners recommended. $ 57. The Government of Temper, as in- What first presents

itself to be recomcluded in the Keeping of the Heart.

mended, is a peaceable temper; a disPassions are quick and strong emo- position averse to give offence, and detions, which by degrees subside. Tem- sirous of cultivating harmony, and amicaper is the disposition which remains after ble intercourse in society. This supposes these emotions are past, and which forms yielding and condescending manners, unthe habitual propensity of the soul. The willingness to contend with others about one are like the stream when it is swoln trifles, and, in contests that are unavoid. by the torrent, and ruffled by the winds; able, proper moderation of spirit. Such a the other resembles it when running temper is the first principle of self-enjoywithin its bed, with its natural force and ment: it is the basis of all order and hapvelocity. The influence of temper is more piness among mankind. The positive and silent and imperceptible than that of pas- contentious, the rude and quarrelsome, sion; it operates with less violence; but are the bane of society; they seem desas its operation is constant, it produces tined to blast the small share of comfort effects no less considerable. It is evi- which nature has here allotted to man. dent, therefore, that it highly deserves to But they cannot disturb the peace of be considered in a religious view. others, more than they break their own.

Many, indeed, are averse to behold it The hurricane rages first in their own in this light. They place a good temper bosom, before it is let forth upon the upon the same footing with a healthy con- world. In the tempest which they raise, stitution of body. They consider it as a they are always lost; and frequently it natural felicity which some enjoy; but is their lot to perish.


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A peaceable temper must be supported system of human life is chiefly composed. by a candid one, or a disposition to view The attentions which respect these, the conduct of others with fairness and when suggested by real benignity of temimpartiality. This stands opposed to a per, are often more material to the hapjealous and suspicious temper; which piness of those around us, than actions ascribes every action to the worst motive, which carry the appearance of greater and throws a black shade over every cha- dignity and splendour. No wise or good racter. As you would be happy in your- man ought to account any rule of behaselves, or in your connexions with others, viour as below his regard, which tends to guard against this malignant spirit. Study cement the great brotherhood of mankind that charity which thinketh no evil; that in comfortable union. temper which, without degenerating into Particularly in the course of that famicredulity, will dispose you to be just'; and liar intercourse which belongs to domeswhich can allow you to observe an error, tic life, all the virtues of temper find an without imputing it as a crime. Thus ample range. It is very unfortunate, that you will be kept free from that continual within that circle, men too often think irritation which imaginary injuries raise themselves at liberty to give unrestrained in a suspicious breast ; and will walk vent to the caprice of passion and huamong men as your brethren, not your mour. Whereas there, on the contrary, enemies.

more than any where, it concerns them to But to be peaceable, and to be candid, attend to the government of their heart; to is not all that is required of a good man. check what is violent in their tempers, He must cultivate a kind, generous, and and to soften what is harsh in their mansympathizing temper, which feels for dis- For there the temper is formed. tress wherever it is beheld ; which enters There the real character displays itself. into the concerns of his friends with ar- The forms of the world disguise men when dour; and to all with whom he has inter- abroad; but within his own family, every course, is gentle, obliging, and humane. man is known to be what he truly is.How amiable appears such a disposition, In all our intercourse, then, with others, when contrasted with a malicious, or en- particularly in that which is closest and vious temper, which wraps itself up in its most intimate, let us cultivate a peaceable, own narrow interests, looks with an evil a candid, a gentle and friendly temper. eye on the success of others, and with an This is the temper to which, by repeated unnatural satisfaction feeds on their dis- injunctions, our holy religion seeks to appointments or miseries! How little form us. This was the temper of Christ. does he know of the true happiness of life, This is the temper of Heaven. who is a stranger to that intercourse of

Ibid. good offices and kind affections, which, by a pleasing charm, attach men to one

$ 60. A contented Temper the greatest another, and circulate joy from heart to

Blessing, and most material Requisite heart.


to the proper Discharge of our Duties.

A contented temper is one of the great§ 59. Numerous Occasions offer for the est blessings that can be enjoyed by man, Exertion of a benevolent Temper.

and one of the most material requisites to You are not to imagine that a benevo- the proper discharge of the duties of every lent temper finds no exercise, unless when station. For a fretful and discontented opportunities offer of performing actions temper renders one incapable of performof high generosity, or of extensive utility; ing aright any part in life. It is unthankthese may seldom occur ; the condition ful and impious towards God; and toof the greater part of mankind in a good wards men provoking and unjust. It is a measure precludes them. But in the or- gangrene which preys on the vitals, and dinary round of human affairs, a thou- infects the whole constitution with disease sand occasions daily present themselves and putrefaction.. Subdue pride and vaof mitigating the vexations which others nity, and you will take the most effectual suffer, of soothing their minds, of aiding method oferadicating this distemper. You their interest, of promoting their cheerful- will no longer behold the objects around ness or ease. Such occasions may relate you with jaundiced eyes. You will take to the smaller incidents of life : but let in good part the blessings which Provius remember that of small incidents, the deace is pleased to bestow, and the de




gree of favour which your fellow-creatures of this passion betokens an ignoble inind, are disposed to grant you. Viewing your- on which no moral impression is easily selves, with all your imperfections and made. Where there is no desire of praise, failings, in a just light, you will rather be there will be also no sense of reproach; surprised at your enjoying so many good and if that be extinguished, one of the things, than discontented because there principal guards of virtue is removed, and are any which you want. From an hum the mind thrown open to many opproble and contenied temper, will spring a brious pursuits. He whose countenance cheerful one. This, if not in itself a vir- never glowed with shame, and whose tue, is at least the garb in wbich virtue heart never beat at the sound of praise, is should be always arrayed. Piety and not destined for any honourable distincgoodness ought never to be marked with tion; is likely to grovel in the sordid that dejection which sometimes takes rise quest of gain; or to slumber life away in from superstition, but which is the pro- the indolence of selfish pleasures. per portion only of guilt.

At the same Abstracted from the sentiments which time, the cheerfulness belonging to vir- are connected with it as a principle of actue, is to be carefully distinguished from tion, the esteem of our fellow-creatures is that light and giddy temper which cha- an object which, on account of the adracterizes folly, and is so often found vantages it brings, may be lawfully puramong the dissipated and vicious part of sued. It is necessary to our success, in mankind. Their gaiety is owing to a to- every fair and honest undertaking. Not tal want of reflection; and brings with only our private interest, but our public it the usual consequences of an unthink- ùsefulness, depends, in a great measure, ing habit, shame, remorse, and heaviness upon it. The sphere of our influence is of heart, in the end. The cheerfulness contracted or enlarged, in proportion to of a well-regulated mind, springs from a the degree in which we enjoy the good good conscience and the favour of Hea- opinion of the public. Men listen with ven, and is bounded by temperance and an unwilling ear to one whom they do

It makes a man happy in him- not honour; while a respected character self, and promotes the happiness of all adds weight to example, and authority to around him. It is the clear and calm counsel. To desire the esteem of others sunshine of a mind illuminated by piety for the sake of its effects, is not only aland virtue. It crowns all other good dis- lowable, but in many cases is our duty: positions, and comprehends the general and to be totally indifferent to praise or effect which they ought to produce on censure, is so far from being a virtue, that the heart,

Blair. it is a real defect in character. Ibid. $81. The Desire of Praise subservient to $ 62. Excessive Desire of Praise tends to many valuable Purposes.

corrupt the Heart, and to disregard the To a variety of good purposes it is sub

Admonitions of Conscience. servient, and on many occasions co-ope- An excessive love of praise never fails rates with the principles of virtue. It to undermine the regard due to consciawakens us from sloth, invigorates activi- ence, and to corrupt the heart. It turns ty, and stimulates our efforts to excel. It off the eye of the mind from the ends has given rise to most of the splendid, and which it ought chiefly to keep in view; to many of the useful enterprises of men. and sets up a false light for its guide. Its It has animated the patriot, and fired the influence is the more dangerous, as the hero. Magnanimity, generosity, and for- colour which it assumes is often fair; and titude, are what all mankind admire. its garb and appearance are nearly allied Hence, such as were actuated by the dea to that of virtue. The love of glory, I sire of extensive fame, have been prompted before admitted, may give birth to actions to deeds which either participated of the which are both splendid and useful. Ata spirit, or at least carried the appearance, distance they strike the eye with uncomof distinguished virtue. The desire of mon brightness ; but on a nearer and praise is generally connected with all the stricter survey, their lustre is often tartiner sensibilities of human nature. It nished. They are found to want that saaffords a ground on which exhortation, cred and venerable dignity which characcounsel, and reproof, can work a proper terizes true virtue. Little passions and effect. Whereas, to be entirely destitute selfish interests entered into the motives of


those who performed them. They were fects in this respect furnish a strong arjealous of a competitor. They sought to gument to every benevolent mind, for humble a rival. "They looked round for wishing them to be farther diffused spectators to admire them. All is mag- throughout the world. For, without nanimity, generosity and courage, to pub- the belief and hope afforded by divine lic view. But the ignoble source whence revelation, the circumstances of man are these seeming virtues take their rise, is extremely forlorn. He finds himself hidden. Without appears the hero; placed here as a stranger in a vast uniwithin is found the man of dust and verse, where the powers and operations clay. Consult such as have been inti- of nature are very imperfectly known; mately connected with the followers of where both the beginnings and the isrenown; and seldom or never will you sues of things are involved in mysterious find, that they held them in the saine darkness; where he is unable to discover, esteem with those who viewed them from with any certainty, whence he sprung, afar. There is nothing except simplicity or for what purpose he was brought into of intention, and purity of principle, that this state of existence; whether he be can stand the test of near approach and subjected to the government of a mild, strict examination.

Blair. or of a wrathful ruler; what construc0 63. That Discipline which teaches to tion he is to put on many of the dispen

moderate the Eagerness of worldly Pas-sations of his providence; and what his sions, and to fortify the Mind with the fate is to be when he departs hence. Principles of Virtue, is more conducive What a disconsolate situation to a seto true Happiness than the Possession rious, inquiring mind! The greater deof all the Goods of Fortune.


of virtue it possesses, its sensibility That discipline which corrects the burden of labouring thought. Even

is likely to be the more oppressed by this eagerness of worldly passions, which

for- though it were in one's power to banish tifies the heart with virtuous principles; all uneasy thought, and to fill up the which enlightens the mind with useful hours of life with perpetual amusement; knowledge, and furnishes to it matter of

life so filled up would, upon reflection, enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real felicity, than all the appear poor and trivial. But these are provision which we can make of the

far from being the terms upon which goods of fortune. To this let us bend

man is brought into this world. He is our chief attention. Let us keep the

conscious that his being is frail and feeheart with all diligence, seeing out of it ble; he sees himself beset with various are the issues of life.' Let us account dangers, and is exposed to many a meour mind the most important province which he may have to encounter before he

lancholy apprehension, from the evils which is committed to our care; and if arrives at the close of life. In this diswe cannot rule fortune, study at least to tressed condition, to reveal to hiin such rule ourselves. Let us propose for our object, not worldly success, which it de- Christian religion affords, is to reveal to

discoveries of the Supreme Being as the pends not on us to obtain, but that up- him a father and a friend'; is to let in a right and honourable discharge of our duty in every conjuncture, which, through ray of the most cheering light upon the the divine assistance, is always within our power. Let our happiness be sought in the inhospitable desert, has now gained

was before a destitute orphan, wandering where our proper praise is found; and that be accounted our only real evil, blast. He now knows to whom to pray,

a shelter from the bitter and inclement which is the evil of our nature; not that and in whom to trust; where to unbosom which is either the appointment of Pro- his sorrows; and from what hand to look vidence, or which arises from the evil of

for relief. others.


It is certain, that when the heart bleeds § 64. Religious Knowledge of great Con- from some wound of recent misfortune,

solation and Relief amidst the Dis- nothing is of equal efficacy with religious tresses of Life.

comfort. It is of power to enlighten the Considerit in the light of consolation; darkest hour, and to assuage the severest as bringing aid and relief to us, amidst woe, by the belief of divine favour, and the distresses of life. Here religion in- the prospect of a blessed immortality. In contestably triumphs; and its happy ef- such hopes the mind expatiates with joy; and when bereaved of its earthly friends, and wrong, independent of religious be solaces itself with the thoughts of one lief; but experience stews, that the allure friend who will never forsake it. Refined ments of present pleasure, and the impereasonings, concerning the nature of the tuosity of passion, are sufficient to prevent human condition, and the improvement men from acting agreeable to this moral which philosophy teaches us to make of sense, unless it be supported by religion, every event, may entertain the mind when the influence of which upon the imaginait is at ease; may, perhaps, contribute to tion and passions, if properly directed, is sooth it, when slightly touched with sor- extremely powerful. We shall readily row; but when it is torn with any sore acknowledge that many of the greatest distress, they are cold and feeble, com- enemies of religion have been distinpared with a direct promise from the word guished for their honour, probity, and of God. This is an anchor to the soul, good nature. But it is to be considered, both sure and steadfast. This has given that many virtues, as well as vices, are conconsolation and refuge to many a virtuous stitutional. A cool and equal temper, a heart, at a time when the most cogent dull imagination, and unfeeling heart, enreasonings would have proved utterly sure the possession of many virtues, or unavailing.

rather, are a security against many vices. Upon the approach of death especially, They may produce temperance, chastity, when, if a man thinks at all, his anxiety honesty, prudence, and a harmless inofabout his future interests must naturally fensive behaviour. Whereas keen pasincrease, the power of religious consola- sions, a warm imagination, and great sention is sensibly felt. Then appears, in the sibility of heart, lay a natural foundation most striking light, the high value of the for prodigality, debauchery, and ambidiscoveries made by the Gospel ; not only tion; attended, however, with the seeds life and immortality revealed, but a Me- of all the social and most heroic virtues. diator with God discovered ; mercy pro- Such a temperature of mind carries along claimed, through him, to the frailties of with it a check to its constitutional vices, the penitent and the humble; and his by rendering those possessed of it pecupresence promised to be with them when liarly susceptible of religious impressions. they are passing through the valley of the They often appear indeed to be the greatshadow of death, in order to bring them est enemies to religion, but this is entirely safe into unseen habitations of rest and owing to their impatience of its restraints. joy. Here is ground for their leaving the Its most dangerous enemies have ever world with comfort and peace. But in been among the temperate and chaste this severe and trying period, this labour. philosophers, void of passion and sensiing hour of nature, how shall the unhappy bility, who had no vicious appetites to be man support himself, who knows not, or restrained by its influence, and who were believes not, the hope of religion? Se- unsusceptible of its terrors or its pleasures. cretly conscious to himself, that he has not

Gregory. acted his part as he ought to have done, the sins of his past life arise before him in $ 66. Effects of Religion, Scepticism, and sad remembrance. He wishes to exist

Infidelity. after death, and yet dreads that existence. The Governor of the world is unknown. Feebleness of mind is a reproach freHe cannot tell whether every endeavour quently thrown, not upon such as have a to obtain his mercy may not be in vain. sense of religion, but upon

all who

posAll is awful obscurity around him; and sess warm, open, cheerful tempers, and in the midst of endless doubts and per- hearts peculiarly disposed to love and plexities, the trembling reluctant soul is friendship. But the reproach is ill foundforced away from the body. As the mis. ed. Strength of mind does not consist in fortunes of life must, to such a man, have a peevish temper, in a hard inflexible been most oppressive; so its end is bitter : heart, and in bidding defiance to God his sun sets in a dark cloud; and the night Almighty: it consists in an active resolute of death closes over his head, full of spirit; in a spirit that enables a man to act misery.

Blair. his part in the world with propriety; and

to bear the misfortunes of life with uni$ 65. Sense of Right and Wrong, inde- form fortitude and digðity. This is a pendent of Religion.

strength of mind, which neither atheism Mankind certainly have a sense of right nor universal scepticism will ever be able

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