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your kindness, which can not be received from other hands. Their child is still the comfort and delight of their dying eyes; and no other object pleasing. You will be ready to answer such demands: your heart will correspond to these calls of nature. You will be proud of the humbleft offices, and pleased with the moft irksome. They cannot give your patience more exercise, than you have given their's. They will not live to let you clear your obligations. Pay what you can, you will still be debtors. Your felicity must be singular, or their distress, if
you recompense them the things that they Ecclus vii.
have done for you.
It is written indeed in history, that one woman, when her aged father was confined in prison, and like to die by famine there, obtained leave of his keepers to visit him once a day, and sustained him with her breast. Filial duty in this instance took the place of parental love, and
taught her in his extremity to become a
One writer seems to intimate, that this same old man, who had so much comfort in his daughter, had been a voluntary prisoner himself in his younger years for his father. How remarkably would be fulfilled the words of the wise Jewish writer? He that honoureth his father, shall have joy of his own children.
Ecclus iii. 5.
FIFTH COMMANDMENT. PART III.
PROV. X. 1:
A WISE SON MAKETH A GLAD
HERE is no period of life, in
which it is not better and happier to be wise and good, than profligate and wicked. For the reason, why God, who is love and goodness itself, requires any thing of us, is because it is suitable to the nature he has given us, and for our good.
This is the general ground of his commands. And if in any instances, it seem otherwise; it is not so in reality; our true good is not that, which appears to us as such. In these cases, we are to rely on the providence and promises of God. Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or fifters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake ; jhall receive an hundred fold, and fall inherit everlasting life.
Matt. xix. 29.
But, though virtue is indeed always perfectly reasonable, yet it is most amiable in youth. It is ever, and in every one the object of our approbation, but then especially of our love.
Decency in men of years is no more, than what we look for; the payment as it were of a debt. We demand it, in return perhaps for that veneration and respect, which is given to age, and as the natural consequence of the wisdom taught by Time.
But when we behold in youth, the same degree of regularity and piety, which we are wont to expect only from the aged; when we see one, who is comparatively but a child, grown up to such a height of devout reverence for the Supreme Being, such prudent government of himself, and exact attention to all the rights and demands of other men, as are mostly the product, when they are produced at all, of long experience, and the labour of years; his excellent accomplishments are the more admirable for being less looked for, and the natural gracefulness of youth adds also something of it's own beauty, and reflects a lustre
upon every virtue, with which itself is adorned.
Hardly indeed does a late penitent give us, or himself, any good proof of the fincerity of his repentance, and a true hearty attachment to the cause he has at last chosen. May we not surmise it pofsible, that no desire of leading a holy life,