« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
happiness dwell in thy palaces, and plenty smile around thy habitations.
3. Treachery shall be banished from the empire of Indostan, and rebellion seek refuge in the dark caverns of the mountains. The tongue of the hoary sage shall bless thee, and the shepherd, as he tends his flocks in the pastures of the Ganges, rehearse the glories of thy reign.
4 Thus shall thy life glide on serenely; and when the angel of death receives his commission to put a period to chine existence, thou shalt receive the summons with tranquillity, and pass without fear the gloomy valley, that separates time from eternity ; for remember, my son, this life is nothing more than a short portion of duration, a prelude to another, which will never have an end.
5. It is a state of trial, a period of probation; and as we spend it either in the service of virtue or vice, our state in the regions of eternity will be happy or miserable. Farewell, niy son, I am arrived at the brink of the precipice that divides the regions of spirits from those inbabited by mortals. Treasure up the instructions of thy dying father in thy breast; practise them, and be happy.
RELIGION. 1. RELIGION is the daughter of heaven, parent of our virtues, and sourče of all true felicity; she alone giveth peace and contentment, divests the heart of anxious cares, bursts on the mind a flood of joy, and sheds unmingled and perpetual sunsbine in the pious breast. By her the spirits of darkness are banished from the earth, and angelic ministers of grace thicken unseen the regions of mortality. She promotes love and good will among men, lifts up the head that hangs down, heals the wounded spirit, dissipates the gloom of sorrow, sweetens the cup of affliction, bluntsthe sting of death, and wherever seen, felt and enjoyed, breathes around her an everlasting spring,
2. Religion raises men above themselves; irreligion sinks them beneath the brutes; the one makes them angels, the other makes them evil spirits; this binds them down to a poor pitiable speck of perishable earth ; that opens up a vista to the skies, and lets loose all the principics of an immortal mind, among the glorious objects of an eternal world.
3. Lift up thy head, O Christian, and look forward to yon calm unclounded region of mercy, unsullied by vapours, unruffled by storms; where celestial friendship, the loveliest forin in beaven, never dies, never changes, never cools: Soon thou siialt burst this brittle earthly prison of the body, break the fetters of mortality, spring to endless life, and mingle with the skies.
4. Corruption has but a limited duration. Happiness is just now in the bud; a few days, weeks, or years, at most, and that bud shall be in full bloom. Here virtue droops under a thousand pressures; but, like the earth with returning spring, shall thenrenew her youth, renew her ver. dure, rise and reign in never fading undiminished lustre,
5. It does not signify what thy prospects now are; or what thy situation now is. In the present world, thy heart indeed may sob, and bleed its last, but thou shalt meet with one, who has either the generosity to relieve, or humanity to pity thee. Thou hast, however, in the compassionate parent of creation, a most certain resource in the deepest extremity.
6. Cast thine eyes but a little beyond this strange, mysterious, and perplexing scene, which at present intercepts thy views of futurity. Behold a bow stamped in the darkest cloud that lowers in the face of heaven, and the whole surrounding hemisphere brightening as thou approachest! Say, does not yon blessed opening which overlooks the dark dominions of the grave, more than compensate all the sighs and sufferings, which chequer the present intervening scene!
7. Lo! there thy long lost friend, who still lives in thy remembrance, whose presence gave thee more delight than all that life could afford, and whose absence costs thee more groans and tears' than all that death can take away--beckons theé to him, that where he is thou mayest be also. “Here," says he, “dwell unmingled pleasures, unpolluted joys, inextinguishable love, immorfal, unbounded, and unmolested friendship.
8. “All the sorrows and imperfections of mortality are to us as though they had never been; and nothing lives in heaven, but pure, unadulterated devotion. Our hearts, swelled with rapture, cease to muripur; our breasts, warmed with gratitude, to sigh ; our eyes, charmed with celestial visions, to shed tears ; our hands, enriched with palms of victory, to tremble ; and our heads, encircled with glory, to ache.
9. “We are just as safe as infinite power, as joyful as infinite fullness, and as happy as'infinite goodness can make us.
Ours is peace without molestation, plenty without want, health without sickness, day without night, pleasure without pain, and life without the least mixture or dread of dissolution.”
10. Happy thou to whom the present life has no charm, for which thou canst wish it to be protracted: Thy troubles will soon vanish like a dream, which mocks the power of memory; and what signify all the shocks which thy delicate and feeling spirit can meet with in this trans, sitory world? A few months longer, and thy complaints will be forever at an end; thy diseases of body and mind shall be felt no more; the ungenerous hints of churlish relations shall distress, fortune frown, and futurity intimidate no more.
11. Then shall thy voice, no longer breathing the plaintive strains of melancholy, but happily attuned to songs, of gladness, mingled with the hosts of heaven, in the last and sweetest anthem that ever mortals or immor. tals sung, “0 Death! where is thy sting? O Grave! where is tly victory ? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ ;-blessing and honor, glory and power, be unto Him that sits on the throne, and unta the Lomb, for ever and evero'
THE CHOICE OF RELIGION. 1. WOULD you wish, amidst the great variety of re ligious systems in vogue, to make a right distinction, and prefer the best? Recollect the character of Christ; keep a steady eye ou ibat universal and permanent good will to men, in which he liyed, by which he suffered, and for which he died. What now would you expect from a mind so purely and habitually benign? Is it possible to
suppose that a heart, thus warm and wide, could harbor a narrow wish, or utter a partial sentiment? Most luckily, inthis point the fullest satisfaction is in every man's power.
2. Go, search the religion he has left, to the bottom; not in those artificial theories which have done it the most essential injury; nor in their manner who assume his name, but overlook his example, and who are forever talking about the merits of his death, at the expense of those virtues which adorn his life; not in those wild and romantic notions, which, to make us christians, would make us fools ; but in those inspired writings, and in those alone, which contain his genuine history and his blessed gospel; and in which, in the most peculiar and extensive sense, are the words of eternal life.
3. Read the scriptures, then, as you would read the LAST WILL of some deceased friend, in which you expected a large bequest ; and tell me in the sincerity of your soul what you see there to circumscribe the social affections, to crush the risings of benevolence, or to check the generous effusions of humanity. Littleness of mind and narrowness of temper were certainly no parts of our Saviour's character; and he enjoins nothing which he did not uniformly and minutely exemplify,
4. Strange ! that an institution, which begins and ends in benignity, should be prostituted to countenance the workings of malevolent passions, should produce animosities among
those whom it was intended to unite! But there is not a corruption in the human heart which has not sometimes borrowed the garb of religion. Christianity, however, is not less precious to the honest because knaves and fools have abused hers and let bigots and sceptics say what they please, she softens and enlarges the heart, warms and impregnates the mind of man as certainly, and essentially, as the sun does the earth.
5. This criterion is as obvious as it is decisive. True humility and benevolence are always acceptable, and always known. Whoever would be thought pious, with out these genuine signatures of piety: be his behaviour as formal, and his face as sad and sanctimonious as he will, mark him down for nothing but a hypocrite. He lone, whose bosom swells with the milk of human kind.
ness, who would not say or do any thing to hurt another for a world ; whose daily aim and disposition is to live soberly, righteously, and gudlily, whatever system adopt ; lives under the visible influence of true goodness. Esteem him as a brother and kinsman ; the same spirit which lives in you, lives in him; the divine image is stamped on him as well as upon you ; and he copies that amiable pattern and example, which leads all its followers to immortality and everlasting bliss.
AN ADDRESS TO YOUTH. 1. YOUTH is the season proper to cultivate the benevolent and humane affections. As a great part of your happiness is to depend on the connexions which you form with others, it is of high importance that you acquire betimes the temper and the manners which will render such connexions comfortable. Let a sense of justice be the foundation of all your social qualities.
2. Engrave on your mind that sacred rule of “doing in all thiogs to others as you wish they would do unto you. ” For this end impress yourselves with a deep sense of the original and natural equality of men. Whatever advantages of birth or fortune you possess, never display them with an ostentatious superiority. Leave the subordinations of rank to regulate the intercourse of more advanced years. At present it becomes you to act among your companions as a man with man.
3. Remember how unknown to you are the vicissitudes of the world ; and how often they, on whom ignorant and contemptuous young men once looked down with scorn, have risen to be their superiors in future years. Compassiun is an emotion of which you ought never to be ashamed. Graceful in youth is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe.
4. Let not ease and indulgence contract your affections, and wrap you up in selfish enjoyment. Accustom yourselves to think of the distresses of human life; of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Never sport with pain and distress in any of your amusements, nor treat even the meanest insect with wat ton cruelty.