Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

daily examination would be necessary; I contrived the following method for conducting that examination.

I made a little book in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues. I ruled each page with red ink, so as to have seven columns, one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for the day. I crossed these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line with the first letters of one of the virtues ; on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed re. specting that virtue, upon that day.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Form of the pages.

TEMPERANCE.

Eat not to dulness : drink not to elevation.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I determined to give a week's strict attention to each of the virtues successively. Thus, in the first week, my great guard was to avoid every the least offence against Temperance ; leaving the other virtues to their ordinary chance, only marking every evening the faults of the day. Thus, if in the first week I could keep my first line marked T. clear of spots, I supposed the habit of that virtue so much strengthened, and its opposite weakened, that I might venture ex my attention to include the next; and for the following week keep both lines clear of spots. Proceeding thus to the last, I could get through a course complete in thirteen weeks, and four courses in a year. And like him who, having a garden to weed, does not attempt to eradicate all the bad herbs at once (which would exceed his reach and his strength), but works one of the beds at a time, and having accomplished the first, proceeds to a second; so I should have (I hoped) the encouraging pleasure, of seeing on my pages the progress made in virtue, by clearing successively my lines of their spots, till in the end, by a number of courses, I should be happy in viewing a clean book, after a thirteen weeks' daily examina. tion.

This my little book had for its motto these lines from Addison's Cato:

6. Here will I hold : If there's a Power above us, (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Through all her works) He must delight in virtue ; And that which he delights in must be happy."

Another from Cicero,

“O vitæ Philosophia Dux! O virtutum indagatrix expultrisque vitiorum! Unus Dies bene, et ex præ. ceptis tuis actus, peccanti immortalitati est anteponendus.”

Another from the Proverbs of Solomon, speaking of wisdom or virtue:

“ Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

And conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right and necessary to solicit his assistance for obtaining it; to this end I formed the following little prayer, which was prefixed to my tables of exannination for daily use.

“ O powerful goodness ! bountiful father ! merciful guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children, as the only return in my power for thy continued favours to me.”

I used also sometimes a little prayer which I took from Thomson's Poems, viz. “ Father of light and life, thou God supreme ! O teach me what is good ; teach me thy self ! Save me from folly, vanity, and vice, From every low pursuit; and fill my soul With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure; Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss !”

The precept of Order requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time, one page in my little book contained the following scheme of employment, for the twenty-four hours of a natural day,

[blocks in formation]

9

Work. 10

11 s 12 Read or look over my accounts li) and dine.

2

3 AFTERNOON.

Work. 4

NOON

I

[blocks in formation]

I entered upon the execution of this plan for selfexamination, and continued it with occasional intermissions for some time. I was surprised to find my.

« ZurückWeiter »