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he attended by untimely mortality, are satiety, languor, and dull enjoyment; the death of vivacity, if not of life; the expiration of the spirit, if not of the breath of existence: that the infallible and invariable effect of inactivity is melancholy; that the immoderate desire of superfluous possessions, even when crowned with prosperity, must be accompanied with anxiety, with dissatisfaction, and while a single superior can be seen in the fortune, the fame, or the power, upon which the supreme affections are placed, with the fretfulness of envy: that evil passions capnot, even in the smoothest situations in which human life can lap them, find a secure assylum from the roughness that irritate and torment them: that conscience, even when most successfully muffled, must, at moments, recover her voice, remonstrate with all her authority, and reprove with all her thunder, so as to disturb the repose of the most tranquil, and embitter the reward of the most successful guilt. Such a one does not know, when he thus dedicates his life to folly, in consequence of having received no convincing instruction from others, and having made no close observations himself concerning human nature, that temperate pleasures, innocent employment, moderate desires, generous affections, and an approving conscience, compose the greatest present happiness of which man is capable.
Upon entering the world, he is deceived by the dresses, he is dazzled by the glare of things. He "looketh upon their outward appearance," and is imposed upon by their plausible surfaces. He mistakes* height of station, for superiority to care; affluence of possessions, for fulness of joy; the arm of power, for capacity to execute whatever inclination can prompt. He has no idea of the indigence, which it is possible for the rich, or of the impotence which it is possible for the great, to experience. He has heard of the toils of virtue to obtain her serious and sublime ends, but not of the toils of voluptiousness to invent some new pleasure, when the world of it has been exhausted by excess. He has heard of the sigh of sorrow, of the sigh of sympathy, the sigh of penitence, but never of the sigh of sloth. He has been told of tha weight of calamity,sbut not of the weight of timei He has often been informed of the wants of mankind, but has never been led to number among them the want of something to do: a want as legibly inscribed in many a melancholy countenance, and as painful to nature, as any other necessity. He has seen the sensualist at the banquetting board, but never in the flat intervals that separate the seasons of animated entertainment. The song of his mirth, the roar of his riot, have reached his ear; hut not the groan of his solitude, but not the lamentation of his listless hour. He has beheld the fire of his kindled look, in his excited moment; but he has not witnessed the dim eye, and the dead dejection of his aching head. He has seen the rich man's house, the rich man's table, the rich man's fields, the rich man's friends, but he has not looked into the rich man's heart. He has imagined the pleasure of flattered, but not the pain of mortified, pride. In contemplating the master of the palace, he has thought only of Hezekiah indulging domestic vanity in the disguise of courteous hospitality, and showing to the admiring guest " all the things that are in his house;" but Ahab returning home " heavy and sore displeased," is an appearance which has never presented itself in his picture of grandeur. In painting to himself the image of ambition that has climbed with successful feet, or of lust of fame, when crowned with its laurel, he delineates, in his mind, a serene and satisfied figure, looking down with delight from the heights of station, or listening with transport to the tabrets of praise: he has not noticed, in such situations, the wrathful and ruffled form of jealousy, darting from her dark eye malignant looks, and casting from her hand the furious javelin, at a larger sharer in the breath of celebration, or in the ribands of honour.
TRUE ENJOYMENT. Neither riches, honors, nor applause, can purchase true enjoyment; it is above price, yet it is free for all: we have only to open the door, and the smiling form enters, brightening and cheering all within. Although happiness is thus easily obtained, although it solicits admittance to every heart, many are complaining of their wretchedness, or envying the seemingly happy condition of others. Envy is a viper that preys upon the soul. Whenever it enters the breast, farewell to all the tender feelings of friendship, all the nobler enjoyments of the present, and all the pleasing prospects of futurity. Such as cherish this secret, this deadly poison, are truly unwilling to be happy.
Religion is a fountain of enjoyment which never fails. Had the man of pleasure, the coxcomb, or the coquette, ever tasted of this fountain, all other enjoyments would become insipid. Religion elevates the soul, disarms the king of terrors, and, while it heightens present enjoyment, conducts the imagination forward beyond the veil of time to scenes of peace, innocence, and love. It sweetens friendship, and it strews flowers in the paths of its possessors. The passions, and other objects, may indeed prevent its efficacy, as clouds and vapors may obscure the sun; but it neither admits diminution nor change.
Religion ever wears a smile. But the glooms of Atheism destroy the sweetest pleasures of life. Where is the Atheist's hope? where his joyful prospects of futurity? Alas! He knows them not, even in imagination. A dark cloud hovers over him. The thoughts of God crowd upon his mind: again he drives them from him and shuns their approach, as the awful monitors which warn him of his ruin. Not so with the friends of religion. Wherever nature smiles, it smiles for them. Are any happy, they rejoice. Are any in prosperity, they enjoy the same—In adversity, they acknowledge the hand of God unseen through the veil of mortality*
** As the eye
"THOU HAST MADE SUMMER Am) WINTER." , It is a matter of unspeakable joy to the godly, that "the Lord reigneth"—that he doeth his pleasure in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth. "The day is thine," exclaimed the Psalmist, "the night is also thine; thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and winter." Creation, through the year, shews forth, under every possible modification, the glorious perfections of the universal Sovereign. Nature, unaided by revelation, so far instructs us that we are " without excuse ;" but animated from above, we hear divine sounds proceeding from the vocal year, and see on every page of Creation the plainer impress of that hand which "changeth the times and the season."
While we meditate on supreme power, it becomes us to consider how awful must be the state of a moral and accountable being, who shall finally be found fighting against that power. And let the children of men remember that every natural heart is enmity against God. But how ravishing is the idea, that if we lay down the weapons of our rebellion, there is a plan divised whereby we can be accepted, and that power will be exercised for our protection and perpetual good. Dead indeed must be that soul, which, in view of such promises, will yet hug the icy chains of death.
THE CHARACTER OF A LOWLY HERO ILLUSTRATED.
The meanest mechanic who employs his best affections—his love and gratitude, on God, the best of Eeings; who retains a particular regard and esteem for the virtuous few, compassion for the distressed, and a firm expansive good-will to all; who, instead of triumphing over his enemies, strives to subdue the greatest ennmy of all, his unruly passions; who promotes a good understanding between neighbours, appeases disputes and adjusts differences; exercises candour to injured character, and charity to distressed worth; who, whilst he cherishes his friends, forgives, and even serves in any pressing exigency, his enemies; who abhors vice, but pities the vicious :—Such a man, however low his station, has juster pretensions to the character of heroism,—(that heroism which implies nobleness atvJ elevation of soul, bursting forth into correspondent actions,) than he who conquers armies, or makes the most glaring figure in the eyes of an injudicious world. He is like one of those fixed stars, which, through the remoteness of its situation, may be thought extremely little, inconsiderable, and obscure, by unskilful beholders, but yet is as truly great and glorious in itself, as those heavenly lights, which, by being placed more obviously to our view, appear to shine with more distinguished lustre.
SOCIETY. - .
Max is inconsiderable by his single exertions; it is only by uniting his efforts with those of his species that he produces any thing of consequence. The bee is a small insect, and the ant still smaller, yet by association they build themselves a name and a monument more valuable, than the solitary lion is able to boast. .
In retirement, if a man attain not all that he wishes, he avoids much of what he hates. Within a certain range he will be master of his occupation, and his company; his books will, in part, supply the want of society; and in contemplation at least, he may often enjoy those pleasures from which fortune has precluded him.
HONOUR, FRIENDSHIP, VIRTUE. Who is open without levity; generous without waste; secret without craft; humble without meanness; bold withoutSnsoIence; cautious without aniety; regular yet not formal; mild yet not timid; firm yet n0 tyrannical, is made to pass the ordeal of honour, friendship, virtue.
A SERIOUS REFLEC TION.
* * * * The man of business will be loth to lose a change^hour for any trifling amusement; and the soul that would be busy for eternity, should look on every hour as his last hour, and should avoid excess of sloth and slumber. Vain amusements, impertinent employments, are cruel moths of time; and time is to be husbanded, though worlds should be squandered away. As the jevVeller deals with gold, so must I with time; he is careful about the filings, and loses nothing; so should I about the smallest divisions of time, the hour, the minute, the moment.-^It never made a dying person's bed thonry, that, by a bad bargain, he lost such ,and such a sum; but misspent time has made the dying moments of many dismal beyond expression."
THE INCOMPARABLE RUSSIAN.
Surely there are speeches which, as they express the feelings of a benevolent heart, and convey the sentiments of a noble mind, are to be estimated far above the merit and praise of wit. The following anecdote will illustrate this observation :—
In the summer of the year 1810, as a lady was walking with her child upon the banks of the canal of St. Catharine at Petersburg, the child suddenly slipped from her hand,and fell into the canal. The mother in despair was going to plunge after her child, when a young man prevented her, and promised her instant assistance. He took a fine large spaniel that followed him, and threw him into the water, calling as loud as he could, Bring him, bring him. The sagacious dog instantly dived; and when he came up again, was seen holding the child by the shirt collar: he, quickly swam to the shore, and laid his precious burthen gently down at the feet of the mother. She, in an ecstacy of joy, took the child in her arms, and divided her caresses between him and