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this end, it is gold buried in the earth ; useless, because it is not employed in the business of life. He has not discover. ed, that science is a means, and not an end. He does not discern, that a mind, richly fraught with knowledge, and existing only to think, is a watch, furnished indeed with wheels, and pinions, but without a spring to set it in motion, a balance to regulate it, or a hand to mark its circuits : a pretty object to the eye of curiosity, but of no use to its maker. He mistrusts not, that the clown, who faithfully follows the plough, or wields the hoe and the spade, is a better member of society than himself; nor dreams, that the two mites of such a man will be accepted as a gift to God, while his own abundance will be slighted and forgotten. The whole end of his life, so far as his fellow-creatures are concerned, is to excite admiration; and, so far as himself is concerned, to gratify the love of knowing. To his fellow-men his existence, among them, is as uninteresting, as to the inhabitants of another planet; for he feels no obligation to wish their happiness, and makes no effort to promote it. His talents, though formed for the noblest ends, and furnishing means of distinguished usefulness, are all closeted in his mind, or wasted over his books. After his death, his whole history may be written in this short epitaph:

Here lies a Learned Man.

A Seventh, and from all these a widely different character is found in the plain and modest walks of life. Convinced, that it is foolish and dangerous to mind high things ; that competence is better than riches, moderation than splendour, and a private station than public offices; convinced, that extensive aims create excessive cares; that to be esteemed graceful is less desirable than to be accounted useful; that sloth is a mere standing pool, nauseous and deadly, and prodigality a troubled ocean, without a pilot, and without a shore : he determines to aim at being beloved, rather than admired; at being unopposed, rather than victorious over opposition ; and at being unenvied, rather than superior to the attacks of envy. Satisfied with this decision, he enters originally upon a plain life, as his portion. While others aim at an empire, or a world, as their sphere of action, he finds his in a neighbourhood. To manage his family affairs, and occasionally those of a

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small circle around him, is the only employment which he covets. To acquire so much property as may satisfy daily demands, and afford a stock on which he may repose in misfortune, and age ; to gain the character of a good husband, father, neighbour, friend, and citizen; to be sufficiently polished, to find a ready admission into the company of those with whom he corresponds; and to possess that share of learning, which will render him an object of village respect, and entitle him to a place among his reputable neighbours : are all which he attempts, and almost all which he wishes. Freedom from trouble and embarrassment; safety from duns, and losses ; security from the hazard of disesteem and disgrace; and the possession of competence, quiet, decency, and good-will; are the prime objects of his pursuit. All these, in the common.course of things, he easily acquires : for in the pursuit of these opposition is rarely found, and disappointment seldom

A pang he may now and then experience, when he is told of the opulence and elevation of one, and another, of his former companions ; but he feels himself abundantly compensated, when he hears of the bankruptcy of the one, and the downfall of the other. In these cases, he hugs his own safety; and congratulates himself on the wisdom of that course of life, which he has chosen : repeating often, and with much self-complacency, the superiority of that golden mean, which the wise man of antiquity so highly extolled ; and which Agur, wiser than all of them, selected as the favourite object of his choice.

Thus quietly and easily he glides down the stream of life ; despised, indeed, by some, and pitied by others; but by those around him generally beloved and respected. When he leaves the world, he leaves it, with the regret and the tears of those, to whose happiness he has contributed by his friendly offices.

The Eighth and last character, which I shall describe, pursues & course differing from them all : Not indeed from the five last in the business of life ; for in this he may resemble any of them ; but in the disposition, by which he is governed. Early sensible that. he is an accountable creature, accountable to that God by whom he was created, and from whom he receives all his means of usefulness and comfort; he makes it his commanding object so to use them all, as at the end of life, to secure the divine approbation.



From the sluggard and the prodigal, he differs in the conviction, that diligence and prudence are duties and virtues; and from all those whom I have mentioned, in the conviction, that duty is his whole business; that virtue is bis only glory, honour, or happiness; and that he was born to centre every view, engage every faculty, and employ every moment, in serving God, and not himself,

Their endeavours all terminated in themselves. None of them felt the obligation of being useful to others, except when it contributed to his owii personal convenience. With him, the first thing is to benefit others; to benefit himself, the second. To do good is in his view the only road to gain, or enjoy, it. The blessedness of the Infinite Mind he finds declared in the Scriptures to arise from the unlimited and endless communication of good to others. If he will obtain a happiness, resembling this, he is taught by the Scriptures, and confirmed in the doctrine by the fullest attestation of Reason, that he must possess a similar character, and pursue similar conduct; must seek for enjoyment in doing good, and not in gaining it from others.

From all these persons he differs, also, in the full conviction, that he was born for eternal being; and that the principal business of the present life is etlectually to provide for the life beyond the grave; that, of course, all his efforts ought to be directed to this infinite object; aud that nothing deserves his attention any farther than it consists with that aim, or contributes to its accomplishment. Thus he begins life with a new system, and a new end. The views of all, who have preceded him, were bounded by the grave : his are expanded through eternity. Their views centred in themselves; his are circumscribed only by the universe of being. One of those things, which, at the commencement of his career, naturally strike his mind with the greatest force, is a strong propensity in his heart, resisting powerfully every effort to pursue the course, which he has prescribed for himself. Avarice, Ambition, Sensuality, are all weeds naturally springing up in his own mind, as well as in the minds of others; and naturally flourishing unless carefully rooted up by the hand of culture. To check, and as far as may be to exterminate, these propensities, becomes therefore one of his earliest labours. Nor is it merely an early, but a daily, labour : for, like the good seed

in the Scriptures, they grow while he sleeps, and when he is not aware, and with a rapid as well as unperceived vegetation.

Temptations to the indulgence of all these passions exist every moment, and in every place. The natural longing for such objects, the sight of others continually engrossed by thein, the regard paid by the multitude to those who acquire them; all unite to cherish, and strengthen, their importance in his own feelings. In most companies he hears no conversation, except concerning these objects. They are dwelt on, as the only solid good, by men of sober years; and painted with the charms of fascination in the ardent language of youth. To unite in the chase of them, is to unite with a world: to decline it, is to be left alone. Strong re. solution is therefore required, to resist so powerful allurements. But his resolution is strong; and the additional strength, which he needs, he asks and receives from God.

With an original watchfulness, vigour, and firmness, he commences his opposition to these passions; and, every day he lives, renews his efforts with a determination to overcome. In so difficult à contest he is compelled to struggle hard; but this adtantage attends all his labours; that every instance of success enables him more easily to succeed again Every victory is pleasant, also, at the time of gaining it; and this pleasure soon renders the labour, necessary to gain the victory, unregarded, and in the end delightful. What, therefore, seemed at first a Herculean task, becomes at length no more than a common exertion.

Another important advantage he early secures to himself, which is unthought of by the preceding characters; viz. the direction of all his efforts towards the controul of his thoughts. A watchful attention to his moral concerns easily convinces him, that his chief danger lies in his mind. When, therefore, improper thoughts spring up there, he watches them at their commencement; when resistance will be neither doubtful, nor difficult. Attacked in this early, feeble state, they are easily overcome ; whereas, after their full growth and frequent indulgence, they become irresistible.

In this conflict he daily calls to his aid the Scriptures of Truth. These furnish him motives, endless in multitude,' and infinite in degree, to continue the warfare with unremitted endeavours to the end of his life. From the Scriptures he retires to his closet :

and, bowing his knees to the Father of all mercies, supplicates that divine aid, which is never long withheld; and finds in the very employment of praying, a part of that strength, for which he prays. From his closet he goes to the common duties of the day, prepared to discharge them faithfully, and fortified against a thousand temptations, by which his companions are assailed, and overpowered. In every situation, like David, he makes it his rule to set the Lord alway before his face. This realized presence of his Maker is, on the one hand, a source of continual delight; and, on the other, a continual guard against the intruding temptation, and the approaching sin. In

every act of his duty he finds a peace which he covets to find again ; and, to find which, he proceeds to perform his duty anew. The consciousness of being thus employed is a source of self-approbation, which is gained from no other employment; of a delight in self-examination, which none of the preceding characters ever knew ; of dignity inherent, independent, and noble; of hope, which maketh not ashamed, an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast.

In the mean time, the promises of the Gospel proffer to his acceptance a crown of endless rejoicing. All around him is God: all before him is heaven. In trials and conflicts, in adversity and languor, in fear and sorrow, God is present, to sustain, refresh, and deliver him; and, after a little period, will be more gloriously present, to terminate all his cares, and to change his sorrows into joys unmingled and everlasting. A great part of all his business is to do good to his fellow-creatures : an employment, sweet, noble, and divine ; a destiny, suited to an immortal being: a commission, worthy of the Infinite Mind : a well of water springing up to everlasting life. This business begins with the little, but eminently endeared, circle of his family; where it extends to the regulation and provision of all things, necessary for their support and comfort, their education and usefulness, their piety and salvation. Thence it reaches the wider circle of his neighbours, where it daily appears in that cheerful communication of kind, just, sincere, and faithful offices, which render life a blessing; and which, as a powerful example, charm others to go, and do likewise: From his neighbourhood it extends to his country ; where it is

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