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Do not grieve for him who is departed out of a troublesome and dangerous state into a better. If a relation, or an acquaintance, is gone into the other world, wholly unprepared for it, his case is truly lamentable.
The advantage our passions have over us, is owing to ourselves. We may easily gain such a knowledge of our own weakness, as to feel them rising before they be got to the height: And it is our own fault if we do not restrain them in time.
The most violent shaking will not make the limpid water in a glass muddy : But a little difturbance will defile that in the well, or river. If it were not for the impurity of the mind itself, the shock of temptation would have no effect.
Whoever knows his own weaknesses, and has the sense to endeavour to get rid of them, will find himself as fully employed, in his own mind, as a phyfician in an hospital.
It may not be in your power to excel many people in riches, honours, or abilities : But you may excel thousands in what is incomparably more valuable, I mean substantial goodness of heart and life. Hither turn your ambition. Here is an object worthy of it.
Nothing is of any value to you that you make a bad use of.
You cannot, you say, find time to examine yourself, whether you are prepared for death. It is no matter, you must find time to die.
It is no matter what you spend your life in, if you neglect the very business of life.
You may acquire great knowledge, and be the worst for it at last.
Don't think of giving a shilling, while you owe a pound.
Shall hypocrisy get footing among Christians ? and fhall a Heathen have the character of having rather defired to be virtuous than to be thought so?
I know no fight more nauseous than that of a fond husband and wife, who have not the sense to behave properly to one another before company: Nor any con
versation more shocking than that of a snarling couple, who are continually girding at one another.
Consider how uncommon it is to live to old age; and take care to hold yourself in constant readiness for death,
The unthinking bulk of mankind are ever amusing themselves with some pursuit foreign to themselves. A wise man is ever looking inward.
It is no wonder if he who reads, converses, and mea ditates, improves in knowledge. By the first, a man converses with the dead; by the second, with the living; and by the third, with himself. So that he appropriates to himself all the knowledge which can be got from those who have lived, and from those now alive.
Let no man refuse a pardon to others, but he who does not need it for himself.
A very ignorant man may have a very learned library. A very learned man niay be a very contemptible creature.
If it were safe to put off repentance and reformation to the very last day of life, how do you know that this is not it?
Endeavour to do all the good in your power. Be as active, with prudence, as if you was sure of success. When you meet a disappointment, let it not abate your diligence, nor put you out of humour. And when you have done all, remember you have only done your duty.
The Dutch will not suffer the smallest breach in their dykes for fear of an inundation. Do not you suffer the smalleit passage for vice into your heart, left you find your virtue quite overflowed.
Do not be unhappy if you have not married a professed beauty. They generally admire themselves so much, they have no love left for their husbands. Befides, it might not perhaps have been very agreeable to you to see every fellow, as you went into public places, look at your wife, as if he could devour her with
'Take no counsel with flesh and blood, if you aspire at what is truly great.
A faolish youth makes a crazy old age.
Take care of natural biaffes, as self-love, pleasure, &c. Be sure, you will always incline enough toward the bials fide. Therefore, you need have no guard upon yourself that way.
The angels are faid in Scripture to desire to look into the Chriftian scheme, as if to learn somewhat. Do not you then think it beneath you to learn, while you are so much inferior to them. The most knowing are the most desirous of knowledge. The most virtuous the most desirous of improvement in virtue. On the contrary, the ignorant think themselves wise enough; the vicious are in their own opinion good enough.
In beitirring yourself for the public advantage, remember, that if you should not accomplish all that you propose, you will however have employed yourself to good purpose, and will not fail of your reward, if
you should of success.
Let no man complain of the shortness of life, but he who can fay he has never mispent one hour.
Make sure first, and principally, of that knowledge, which is necessary for you as a man, and a member of society. Next, of what is necessary in your particular way of life. Afterwards, improve yourself in all uleful and ornamental knowledge, as far as your capacity, leifure, and fortune will allow.
If you would not have affliction visit you twice, listen at once to what it teaches.
Never cast your eye upon a good man, without resolving to imitate him. Whenever you see an instance of vice or folly in another, let it be a warning to you to avoid them.
Where is yesterday now? With the years before the flood. But if you have employed it well, it stands recorded above, to your eternal honour and advantage. If you have mispeót or neglected it, it will appear against you at the last day.
Would you have one general universal remedy for all diseases, study religion. The only rational ground of
confolation in the various distresses of life, is the confideration, that religion proposes a positive reward for bearing with dignity, and improving by affliction, and that afflictions are in truth our greatest blessings and proofs of the Divine favour.
If you unhappily fall into some fatal miscarriage, which wounds your conscience, and makes your life a burden, confess it, with all its circumstances, to some judicious and tender-hearted person, in whose fidelity you can confide, and whose advice may be of service to you. If it be of such a peculiar nature, that you do not think it prudent to confess yourself guilty of such a thing, send a full account of it, written in a disguised hand, defiring an anfwer in writing. When you have the opinion of a judicious person upon the heinousness of your crime, which you may find you have either through self-love thought too Nightly of, or, through an exceffive tenderness of conscience, blamed yourself too much for, impress your mind properly with a sense of your fault; humble yourself deeply before God; and resolve bravely no more to be guilty of such folly. When you have done so, and find you can keep to your resolutions, it is not necessary that you continue to afflict yourself without end for what is irrecoverably past. The principal part of repentance is reformation.
I know no way of laying out a few shillings to more advantage, either for profit or pleasure, than upon an entertaining and instructing book. But this expence įs greatly overdone by some, and ill laid out by others,
While you are unhappy because your tailor has not cut your coat to your mind, many an honest man would be glad to have one that would only keep out the cold, and cannot. While you are in a passion with your cook, because he has spoiled you one dish among fix, many a poor family, who are fellow-creatures, and your fellow Christians, are at a loss for bread to supply the wants of nature. Think of this, and give over with Thame your foolish and impious complaints against that goodness of Providence, which has placed you in circumstances so much above persons of equal merit with yourself, Dd
It is the unhappiness of human life, that in every man's conduct there has always been some miscarriage, or some misfortune in his circumstances, which has prevented his carrying his improvements in knowledge and virtue the length which might have been wished or imagined. To make the most of life, such a number of concurrences are necessary, that it is no wonder they seldom all fall to the share of any one person. Health, long-life, fortune; great and various natural abilities, and a good disposition ; an extensive education, begun early; indefatigable diligence to carry on improvements; a set of acquaintance capable of affifting in the pursuit of knowledge, and of encouraging in virtue; and happening to live in an age favourable to freedom of inquiry. If we consider the improvements some towering geniusses have made in knowledge, and the lengths gone in exemplary virtue by many who have laboured under innumerable disadvantages, we cannot help lamenting, that they were not favoured by Providence with the others, nor imagining what immense heights they must, in some circumstances, have reached. The most remarkable concurrence of all kinds of advantages that ever was; and the most ftupendous effects in consequence of it, will probably, as long as this world lasts, be the admiration and delight of all who are judges of the sublime labours of the greatest of philosophers, and best of men, the glory of our country, and of Human Nature. Yet even in him (though a sort of superior being, when compared with the rest of the species,) it is possible to imagine some circumstances different, and to the advantage. To what heights then may our nature rise in future states, when every pollible advantage shall concur!
Do not pretend to neglect or trifle with your duty, unless you have found out unquestionable and demonstrative proof, that the general sense of mankind in all ages and nations, that virtue is the perfection of Human Nature, and the fure way to happiness, and vice the contrary, is a gross absurdity and falsehood; that the Bible is a forgery; and that the belief of a judgement to come is a dream. If you be not as sure of all