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TALKING over idle vexations only makes them
Every day should be single, unconnected with the rest, and so bear only the weight of its own vexations.
· Nerermake a group of them, nor look backwards or forwards on a series of disagreeable days; but be always content to make the best of the present.
• Every day try to do what you can, and try in earnest, and with spirit. Scorn to be discouraged; and if one scheme fails, form another, as fast as a spider does webs. But never be anxious or uneasy; and if the day be very unpropitious, and nothing will do, even be contented, and easy, and cheerful, as having done the best you could : for perpetually trying and aiming to do proper things keeps up the spirit of action, which is the important point, and preserves you from the danger of falling into heart
less indolence, to the full as well as if you really did them; and as for the particular things them. selves, it is not a pin matter. But always carry an easy smiling look, and take nothing to heart.
There is scarcely any thing which a sincere endeavour, directed by the hearty conviction of real duty, will not in time accomplish; since an endeavour so directed, will be accompanied by persevering humble prayer; and to persevering prayer, joined with sincere endeavours, success is infallibly promised.
Considering life in its great and important view as the probation for a passage to eternity and this is the just and true way of considering it—of what signification is it, whether it be passed in town or country, in hurry or in retirement, in pomp or gaiety, or in quiet obscurity? Of none, any farther than as these different situations hurt or improve the mind: and in either of them, a right mind may preserve, or even improve itself.
What is then of consequence? Why, that where. ver, or however life is past, it should be reasonably and happily: now to this nothing is necessary but a true practical sense of religion, an easy good humour, cheerful indifference to trifles of all kinds, whether agreeable or vexatious; and keeping one's self above them all, suitably to the true diguity of an immortal nature.
- Now in a quiet private life one certainly may be reasonable, religious, friendly, good-humoured, and consequently happy.
• In great life one may be thus good too, and very useful besides, and consequently very happy also. But this way of life is more dangerous, and has too strong a tendency to dissipate the mind and deprave the heart.
Upon the whole, every state of life is equal. Providence orders all; and therefore, in every one, those who cheerfully and resignedly accommodate themselves to its orders, may and must be happy. Why then this vain care and anxiety about what it does not belong to us to look forward to ? The good and evil, and the right improvement of the present day, is what it is our business to attend to. If we make the best of that, we are sure all will and must go well; if we put ourselves, by vain distrust and useless foresight, out of a right temper to-day, every to-morrow will be the worse for it.
We had need often perpetually to be recollecting what are our duties and our dangers, that we may fulfil the one, and avoid the other; but never with anxious or uneasy forecast. We must consider the difficulties of the state of life we are likely to be in, not because every other state of life has not as many, for all are pretty equal; but because those peculiarly belong to us.
Dwelling much in our thoughts on other people's unreasonableness, is a sort of revenge, that, like all other revenge, hurts ourselves more than them. However, to talk over things sometimes a little reasonably, and see how the truth stands, is a very allowable indulgence; but it must not be allowed too often,
Trying to convince people in cases where they are prejudiced, though ever so unreasonably, be it by temper, humour, or custom, is a vain and an idle attempt. One should be satisfied, if one can, quietly and unperceived; overrule those prejudices, where it is necessary in practice; and not aim at the poor triumph of showing them that they are in the wrong, which hurts, or puts them out of humour.
It is mere cheating one's self to take things easily and patiently at the time, and then repine and complain in looking back upon them. This is to enjoy all the pride and self-applause of patience, and all the indulgence of impatience.