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There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind, than gratitude. It is accompanied with so great inward satisfaction, that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. It is not, like the practice of many other virtues, difficult and painful, but attended with so much pleasure, that were there no positive command which enjoined it, nor any recompence laid up for it hereafter, a generous mind would indulge in it, for the natural gratification which it affords.
If gratitude is due from man to man, how much more from man to his Maker ?—The Supreme Being does not only confer upon us those bounties which proceed more immediately from his hand, but even those benefits which are conveyed to us by others. Every blessing we enjoy, by what means soever it may be derived upon us, is the gift of Him who is the great Author of good, and the Father of mercies.
If gratitude, when exerted towards one another, naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man, it exalts the soul into rapture, when it is employed on this great object of gratitude; on this beneficent Being, who has given us every thing we already possess, and from whom we expect every thing we yet hope for.
THE VANITY OF WEALTH.
NO more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
No—all that's worth a wish—a thought,
Diligence, industry, and proper improvement of time, are material duties of the young.
The acquisition of knowledge, is one of the most honourable occupations of youth.
A temperate spirit, and moderate expecta
tions, are excellent safeguards of the mind, in this uncertain and changing state.
Change and alteration form the very essence of the world.
True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise.
No person who has once yielded up the^ government of his mind, and given loose rein to his desires and passions, can tell how far they may carry him.
, The chief misfortunes that befall us in life, can be traced to some vices or follies which we have committed.
They who have nothing to give, can often afford relief to others, by imparting what they feel.
He who would act like a wise man, and build his house on the rock, and not on the sand, should contemplate human life, not only in the sunshine, but also in the shade.
Whatever purifies, fortifies also the heart. Disappointments and distress, are often blessings in disguise.
The veil which covers from our sight the events of succeeding years, is a veil woven by the hand of mercy.
To be wise, in our own eyes; to be wise in the opinion of the world; and, to be wise, in the sight of our Creator; are three things, so very different, as rarely to coincide.
Man, in his highest earthly glory, is but a reed floating on the stream of time, and forced to follow every new direction of the current.
The external misfortunes oflife, disappointments, poverty, and sickness, are light, in comparison of those inward distresses of mind, occasioned by folly, by passion, and by guilt.
No station is so high, no power so great, no character so unblemished, as to exempt men from the attacks of rashness, malice, or envy.
He who pretends to great sensibility towards men, and yet has no feeling for the high objects of religion, no heart to admire and adore the great Father of the universe, has reason to distrust the truth and delicacy of his sensibility.
When, upon rational and sober inquiry, we have established our principles, let us not suffer them to be shaken by the scoffs of the licentious, or the cavils of the sceptical.
Every degree of guilt incurred by yielding to temptation, tends to debase the mind, and to weaken the generous and benevolent principles of human nature.
Luxury, pride, and vanity, have frequently as much influence in corrupting the sentiments of the great, as ignorance, bigotry, and prejudice, have in misleading the opinions of the multitude.
Society, when formed, requires distinctions of property, diversity of conditions, subordination of ranks, and a multiplicity of occupations, in order to advance the general good.
The desire of improvement discovers a liberal mind; and is connected with many accomplishments, and many virtues.
Innocence confers ease and freedom on the mind ; and leaves it to open to every pleasing sensation.
Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manners; and, by a constant train of humane attentions, studies to alleviate the burden of common misery.
Time once past, never returns: the moment which is lost, is lost for ever".
COMFORTS OF RELIGION.
There are many who have passed the age of youth and beauty; who have resigned the pleasures of that smiling season; who begin to decline into the vale of years, impaired in their health, depressed in their fortunes, stript of their friends, their children, and perhaps still more tender connexions. What resource can this world afford them ? It presents a dark and dreary waste, through which there does not issue a single ray of comfort. Every delusive prospect of ambition is now at an end: long experience of mankind, an experience very different from what the open and generous soul of youth had formerly dreamt of, has rendered the heart almost inaccessible to new friendships. The principal sources of activity are taken away, when they for whom we labour are cut off from us; they who animated, and who sweetened all the toils of life. Where then can the soul find refuge, but in the bosom of religion? There she is admitted to those prospects of Providence and futurity, which