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ly gradual operation, fit our minds for viewing, with some fort of fortitude, that hideous chasm that lies between us ind that state-death. View those miseries, then, as the pecial acts of merey and commiseration of a beneficent Creator, wbo, with every calamity, melts away a link of that arthly chain that fetters our wishes to this dismal world.
** Accept"his blessings and his goods when he sends hem, with gratitude and enjoyment: receive bis afflictions too, with as joyous acceptance, and as hearty gratitude. l'has, and not otherwise, you will realise all your Utopian lights of desire, by turning every thing to matter of comfort, and living contented with dispensations which you cannot alter, and, if you could, would most certainly alter for the worse. :
"I sat absorbed in reflection—the friar after some panse, proceeded
** Errors arising from virtuous dispositions and the love of our fellow-creatures, take their complexion from their parent motives, and are virtuous. Your wishes, therefore, my son! though erroneous, merit' reward; and if the truths I have told you have not failed to make their way to your understanding, let your adventure of to-day impress this incontrovertible maxin on your mind--so limited is nan, so imperfect in his nature, that the extent of his virtue borders on vice, and the extent of his wisdom on error. ..... .
"I thought he was inspired, and, just as he got to the last period, every organ of mine was open to take in his words. ; :
" 'Tis well my son!” said he, • I perceive you like my doctrine : then, (changing lis manner of speaking, his expressive countenance the whole time almost anticipating his words) take some more of it,' said he gaily, pouring out à fresh glass. I pleaded the fear of inebriety. Fear not,' said he ? the beer of this convent never hurts the intellect.'
“Our “Our conversation continued till near dinner-time; for I was so delighted, I scarcely knew how to snatel mysel away: such a happy mixture of piety and pleasantry, grave wisdom and humour, I had never met. At length the convent-bell tolling, I arose: he took me by the hand, and, in a tone of the most complacent admonition, said, “Remenber, my child! as long as you live, remember the convent of the Carmelites; and in the innumerable evils that certainly await you if you are to live long, the words you have heard from old friar AUGUSTINE will afford you conifort.?
" Father,' returned I,:'be assured I carry away from you a token that will never suffer me to forget the hos pitality, the advice, or the politeness of the good father AUGUSTINE. Poor as I am in natural means, I can make no other return than my good wishes, nor leave any impression behind me ; but as my esteem for you, and perhaps my vanity, make me wish not to be forgotten, accept this, (a seal ring, with a device in hair, which I happened to have on my finger ;) and whenever you look at it, let it remind you of one of those (I dare say innumerable) instances, in which you have contributed to the happiness and improve ment of your fellow creatures.'
“The good old man was affected, took the ring, and at tended me to the convent-gate, pronouncing many blessings, and charging me to make Augsburgh my way back again to England if possible, and to take one glass more of the convent ale."
The language of old Father AUGUSTINE is certainly much to the purpose, and in the pleasant manner he bas stated his argument, it will no doubt have a more striking and lasting effect on some of the readers of the Cheap Magazine, than, to use his own words, if it had been enforced by " the authoritative declamation and formal sanctity of the pulpit;" for, as Mr ALLWORTHY remarked the other day," in such
diversity of the human intellect, there must necessarily many of the less grave and basty cast, for whose benefit le Friar's lecture, with its concomitant inducements to x attention, is admirably calculated. . . .
But it is not merely as evidences of our immortality, and s pioneers to smooth our rugged passage thither, that the flictions and loses, troubles and crosses of life, have their. ise they serve also, by their inflaence on the heart, to fit nd prepare us for it :--for
“Wisdom smiles when humbled mortals weep." The effect of riches and worldly prosperity, as is implied n Agur's prayer, is a tendency to make us forget Godm but these messengers are “sent as angels full of love,". to bring us back to a sense of duty-agreeable to the experience of DAVID : “ Before I was afflicted I went astray ; but now I hate kept thy word.”.
When the sun of ease and uninterrupted comfort shines refulgent upon our dwelling, and health, and wealth, and joy go round, we are apt to get intoxicated with the pleasing draught, and to forget ourselves; but these, in every varied shape, like
"Our dying friends come o'er us like a cloud,
“ That glare of life, which often blinds the wise." . When success attends our every effort, and nothing intervenes to obstruct our projects or thwart our schemes, we are apt to be lifted up with pride, and to look down with contempt upon our neighbours ;" but these, in the form of some severe loss or serious disappointment step in, and
"Each friend by fate snatch'd from us, is a plupie . “ Pluck'd from the wing of human vanity, ,,“ Which makes us stoop from our aerial heights." The ADVENTURER: observes, that “ It is by affiction
chiefly that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed upon a better state ;” and Lord BACO remarks," that virtue is like precious odours, most fragran by being crushed; for prosperity best discovers rice, bu adversity best discovers virtue.”
“The more God afflicteth,” observes the pious Massin LON," the greater is his love and watchfulness over you and “it may boldly be affirmed,” says Dr. SCOTT, "the good men generally reap more substantial benefit from the afflictions than bad men do from their prosperities, and what they lose in wealth, pleasure, or honour, they gain with vas advantage in wisdom, goodness, and tranquillity of mind And another author somewhere remarks : “ The best need affliction for trials of their virtue. How can we exercise the grace of contentment if all things succeed well! or that of forgiveness if we have no enemies?”
“How willingly,” says ZIMMERMAN, “ do we renounce the world and become indifferent to all its pleasures, when the insidious eloquence of the passions is silenced, and var powers are debilitated by vexation and ill-health? It is then we perceive the weakness of those succours which the world 'affords. How many useful truths, alas ! has the bed of sickness and sorrow instilled even into the minds of kings and princes! Truths, which, in the hour of health, they would have been unable to learn amidst the deceitful counsels of their pretended friends; "and St. PIERRE remarks that “ Pain of body and vexation of spirits, which so fre quently cross the path of life, are barriers erected by the land of nature, to prevent our deviating from her laws."
Even the virtuous Heathen were not insensible of the advantages of affliction, and its beneficial effects upon men's tempers and lives. SENECA observes, that “God deals by us as a good father does by his children : He keeps a strict hand over those that he loves;” that “ Calamity is the oc
asion of virtue, and a spur to a great mind :”--that “ Af: ictions are but the exercise of virtue; and an honest man
out of his element when he is idle :”-that “ Many afictions may befal a good man but no evil ; for contraries annot incorporate;" and, in one place, he remarks, " Nor
there any thing more ordinary than for that which we bared as a calamity to prove the foundation of our happicss.”, “And nothing would be more unhappy,” said DEIETRIUS, “than a man who had never known affliction.”
But what must give more weight than all these authorties, is that the doctrine here advanced is perfectly conbrmable to the language of scripture. . . .
The holy Job, as a proof of his faith and patience, was given up to the most excruciating and severe trials. His t was to exclaim, in the most pathetic language, “ the lays of affliction have taken hold upon me;" but mark well the consequence" the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.”
DAVID says in one place, that “ many are the affictions of the righteous;" but he also acknowledgeth, that " the Lord delivereth him out of them all;" and in another place he not only confesses that it was good for him that he had been afflicted, but assigns the reason for it, “ that I might learn thy statutes.” The wise and judicious SoLOMON gives it as his decided opinion, that " it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of seasting;">that.“ by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better;" and “ that the heart of the wise is in the bouse of mourning."
ISATAH, who has been styled the Evangelical prophet, represents the 'ALMIGHTY -as choosing his people in the furnace of affliction, and as having mercy upon his chosen, under the endearing appellation of his afflicted;