« AnteriorContinuar »
Let your moderation be known unto all men.-Philip
PIANS, iv. 5.
THE present state of man is neither doomed to constant misery, nor designed for complete happiness. It is, in general, a mixed state of comfort and sorrow, of prosperity and adversity; neither brightened by uninterrupted sunshine, nor overcast with perpetual shade ; but subject to alternate successions of the one, and the other. While such a state forbids despair, it also checks presumption. It is equally adverse to despondency of mind, and to high elevation of spirits. The temper which best suits, is expressed in the text by moderation; which, as the habitual tenour of the soul, the apostle exhorts us to discover in our whole conduct; let it be known unto all men. This virtue consists in the equal balance of the soul. It imports such proper government of our passions and pleasures as shall prevent us from running into extremes of any kind; and shall produce a calm and temperate frame of mind. It chiefly respects our conduct in that state which comes under the description of ease, or prosperity. Patience, of which I treated in the preceding discourse, directs the proper regulation of the mind, under the disagreeable incidents of life. Moderation determines the bounds within which it should remain, when circumstances are agreeable or promising. What I now purpose is, to point out some of the chief instances in which Moderation ought to take place, and to shew the importance of preserving it.
I. Moderation in our wishes. The active mind of man seldom or never rests satisfied with its present condition, how prosperous soever.
Originally formed for a wider range of objects, for a higher sphere of enjoyments, it finds itself, in every situation of fortune, straitened and confined. Sensible of deficiency VOL. II.