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destructive a sphere, we shall find its influence to be no less baneful. I need not mention the black and fierce passions, such as envy, jealousy, and revenge, whose effects are obviously noxious, and whose agitations are immediate misery.
7. But take any of the licentious and sensual kind. Suppose it to have unlimited scope; trace it throughout its course; and we shall find that gradually, as it rises, it taints the soundness, and troubles the peace of his mind, over whom it reigns; that, in its progress, it engages him in pursuits which are marked either with danger or with shame; that, in the end, it wastes his fortune, destroys his health, or debases his character; and aggravates all the miseries in which it has involved him, with the concluding pangs of bitter remorse. Through all the stages of this fatal course, how many have heretofore rup! What multitudes do we daily behold pursuing it, with blind and headlong steps !
BLAIR. SECTION VII. a Un-a-vóid-a-ble, ún-å-võid -å-bl, le Con-cern, kön-sérn, to relate to, inevitable.
interest, business. 6 Sus-pic-ious, sůs-pish'-ĉs, inclined f Vi-o-lent, vi-3-lènt, forcible, veto suspect.
shement. c Aid, ade, help, support, to help, to g Disg-uise, dizg-yize', to conceal, support.
A disgrace, deform. d Ce-ment, se-ment', to unite by h In-junc-tion, in-jink'-shản, com
means of something interposed. | mand, order. On the proper state of our temper, with respect to one an
other. 1. It is evident, in the general, that if we consult either publick welfare or private happiness, Christian charity ought to regulate our disposition in mutual intercourse. But as this great principle admits of several diversified appearances, let us consider some of the chief forms under which it ought to show itself in the usual tenour of life.
2. What, first, presents itself to be recommended, is a peaceable temper; a disposition averse to give offence, and desirous of cultivating harmony, and amicable intercourse in society. This supposes yielding and condescending manners, unwillingness to contend with others about trifles, and, in contests that are unavoidable,a proper moderation of spirit. Such a temper is the first principle of self-enjoyment. It is the basis of all order and happiness among mankind.
3. The positive and contentious, the rude and quarrelsome, are the bane of society. They seem destined to blast the small share of comfort which nature has here allotted to man. But they cannot disturb the peace of others, more than they break their own. The hurricane, ragas first in their own bosom, before it is let forth upon the world. In the tempests which they raise, they are always tost; and frequently it is their lot to perish.
4. A peaceable temper must be supported by a candid one, or a disposition to view the conduct of others with fairness and impartiality. This stands opposed to a jealous and suspicious" temper, which ascribes every action to the worst motive, and throws a black shade over every character. If we would be happy in ourselves, or in our connexions with others, let us guard against this malignant spirit.
5. Let us study that charity os which thinketh no evil;" that temper which, without degenerating into credulity, will dispose us to be just; and which can allow us to observe an errour, without imputing it as a crime. Thus we shall be kept free from that continual irritation, which imaginary injuries raise in a suspicious breast; and shall walk among men as our brethren, not as our enemies.
6. But to be peaceable, and to be candid, is not all that is required of a good man. He must cultivate a kind, generous, and sympathizing temper, which feels for distress, wherever it is beheld; which enters into the concerns of his friends with ardour; and to all with whom he has intercourse, is gentle, obliging, and humane.
7. How amiable appears such a disposition, when contrasted with a malicious or envious temper, which wraps itself up in its own narrow interest, looks with an evil eye on the success of others, an-l, with an unnatural satisfaction, feeds on their disappointments or miseries! How little does he know of the true happiness of life, who is a stranger to that intercourse of good offices and kind affections, which, by a pleasing charm, attaches men to one another, and circulates joy from heart to heart!
8. We are not to imagine, that a benevolent temper finds no exercise, unless when opportunities offer of performing actions of high generosity, or of extensive utility. These may seldom occur.
The condition of the greater part of mankind, is a good measure, precludes them. But, in the ordinary round of human affairs, many occasions
daily present themselves, of mitigating the vexations which others suffer; of soothing their minds; of aiding their interest; of promoting their cheerfulness or Such occasions may relate to the smaller incidents of life.
9. But let us remember, that of small incidents the system of human life is chiefly composed. The attentions which respect these, when suggested by real benignity of temper, are often more material to the happiness of those around us, than actions which carry the appearance of greater d gnity and splendour. No wise or goo! man ought to account any rules of behaviour as below his regarl, which tend to cements the great brotherhood of mankind in comfortable union.
10. Particularly amidst that familiar intercourse which belongs to domestick life, all the virtues of temper find an ample range. It is very unfortunate, that within that circle, men too often think themselves at liberty, to give unrestrained vent to the caprice of passion and humour, Whereas there, on the contrary, more than any where else, it concerns them to attend to the government of their hea.t; to check what is violent in their tempers, and to soften what is harsh in their manners.
11. For there the temper is formed. There, the real character displays itself. The forms of the world disguises men when abroal. But within his own family, every man is known to be what he truly is.
In all our intercourse then with others, particularly in that which is closest and most intimate, let us cultivate a peaceable, a candid, a gentle, and friendly temper. This is the temper to which, by repeated injunctions, our holy religion seeks to form us. This was the temper of Christ. This is the temper of Heaven.
SECTION VIII. : In-ex-haus-ti-ble, in-éks-hws-te. to animate by supernatural infu.
bl, not to be spent. · Ma-lev-o-lence, må-lèv'-vo-lense, e De-vout, d-voût', pious, religious. ill will, spite.
f Mag-nif i-cent, mag-nif -fe-sent, : Pa-tri-ot-ism, pi-trè-it-izm, love grand in appearance. of one's country.
8 Brev-i-ty, brev -d-té, conciseness, d In-spire, in-spire , to breathe intos shortness.
Excellence of the Holy Scriptures. 1. Is it bigotry to believe the sublime truths of the Gospel, with full assurance of faith? I glory in such biga otry. I would not part with it for a thousand worlds.
I congratulate the man who is possessed of it: for, amidst all the vicissitudes and calamities of the present state, that man enjoys an inexhaustiblea fund of consolation, of which it is not in the power of fortune to deprive him.
2. There is not a book on earth, so favourable to all the kind, and all the sublime affections; or so unfriendly to hatred and persecution, to tyranny, to injustice, and every sort of malevolence, as the Gospel. It breathes nothing throughout, but mercy, benevolence, and peace.
3. Poetry is sublime, when it awakens in the mind an great and good affection, as piety, or patriotism. This is one of the noblest effects of the art. The Psalms are remarkable, beyond all other writings, for their power of inspiring devoute emotions. But it is not in this respect only, the most magnificent descriptions, that the soul of man can comprehend. The hundred and fourth Psalm, in particular, displays the power and goodness of Providence, in creating and preserving the world, and the various tribes of animals in it, with such majestic brevity, and beauty, as it is vain to look for in any human composition.
4. Such of the doctrines of the Gospel as are level to human capacity, appear to be agreeable to the purest truth, and the soundest morality. All the genius and learning of the heathen world; all the penetration of Pythagoras, Socrates, and Aristotle, had never been able to produce such a system of moral duty, and so rational an account of Providence and of man, as are to be found in the New Testament. Compared, indeed, with this, all other moral and theological wisdom
Loses, dis untenanc’d, and like folly shows.
SECTION IX. a Vic-to-i-ous, vik-td-re-us con-jd Sus-tain, sis-tåne', to bear, sup. quering.
port, help. b Gau-dy, gåw'-de, showy, splen- e An-cient, ane'-tshent, old, not did, fine.
modern. c For-ti-tude, för'-te-túde, courage, f Lus-tre, lås’-tůr, brightness, re
bravery. Reflections occasioned by a review of the blessings, pronoun. ced by Christ on his disciples, in his sermon on the mount.
1. What abundant reason have we to thank God, that this large and instructive discourse of our blessed Redeemer, is so particularly recorded by the sacred historian. Let every one that “ hath ears to hear,” attend to it: for surely
no man ever spoke as our Lord did on this occasion. Let us fix our minds in a posture of humble attention, that we mav "receive the law from his mouth.” - -2. He opened it with blessings, repeated and most important blessings. But on whom are they pronounced? And whom are we taught to think the happiest of mankind? The meek and the humbie; the penitent and the merciful; the peaceful and the pure; those that hunger and thirst after righteousness; those that labour, but faint not, under persecution! Lord! how different are thy maxims from those of the children of this world!
3. They call the proud happy; and admire the guy, the rich, the powerful, and the victorious, a But let a vain world take its gaudy trifles, and dress up the foolish creatures that pursue them. May our souls share in that happiness, which the Son of God came to recommend and to procure! May we obtain mercy of the Lord; may we be owned as his children; enjoy his presence, and inherit his kingdom! With these enjoyments, and these hopes, we will cheerfully welcome the lowest, or the most painful circumstances.
4. Let us be animated to cultivate those amiable virtues, which are here recommended to us; this humility and meekness; this penitent sense of sin; ibis ardent desire after righteousness; this compassion and purity; this peacefulness anii furtitute of soul; and, in a word, this universal goodness wh ch becomes us, as we sustaind the character of the salt of the earth,” and “the light of the world.”
5. Is there not reason to lament, that we answer the charactor no better? Is there not reason to elaim with a good nian in former times, “ Blessed Lord! either these are not thy worils, or we are not Christiana!" Oh, season mur hearts more effectually with thy grace! Pour forth that divine oil on our lanıp! Thon-hall the faine brighten; then shall the anciente honours of thy rel gion be revived; and multitudes be awarenei ani animated, by the lustre' of it, “ to glorify our Father in heaven."
SECTION X. a Il-lo-sor-v, 11-lů-sůr-pé, deceiving, c Pere-dic-tion, blin-e-dik'-shủn, fraudulent.
blessing, acknowledgment, b Ca-k, k. -lif, a mahometan, titled A-41-?-y, anjll-e-tó, vimbleness, of honour.