Imatges de pàgina

compliance therefore with this neeeffary injunction, we shall not only obey his falutary precepts, but likewise follow his divine example.

Our blessed Saviour came to bring peace upon earth, and good-will towards men; that peace and good-will he perpetually endeavour. ed to increase, and went about doing good.

The first miracle he performed was at a feast of joy, where he rejoiced with them that did rejoice, and not only partook of their mirth and happiness, but exerted also his divine power to promote them.

And as he rejoiced with them that rejoiced, so also he wept with them that wept; he thought it not beneath his dignity to mourn and lament for the afflictions of those he loved. In that most affecting scene, described by St. John, of raising Lazarus from the dead, we see him exerting the virtue of humanity in the highest degree towards objects most deserving of it.

When Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

And when he saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit

, and was troubled; and he said, Where have ye laid him? they say unto him, Come and see; and Jesus wept.--Here we have the great model of perfection, the example of Jesus Christ the righteous prompting us to this duty.

To conclude: One virtue doth naturally beget another. Benevolence is always succeeded by beneficence;


he who rejoices in another's prosperity, will make it his business to promote it, because, while he increases his neighbour's happiness, it is an addition to his own; and when the heart is open to the wants and distresses of the indigent and oppressed, the hand will be ready to relieve them. Let us then comply with the injunction of the holy apostle. Let not the force of prejudice or fashion warp us from our duty, nor an inordinate defire of worldly poffeffions extinguish in us the sentiments of love and hu. manity. Let us then rejoice wiih them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. If fortune smileth on our neighbour, if prosperity should crown his wishes, let us not repine at his fuccess, or envy his happiness, but let us chearfully sit down with him and partake of the banquet. If, on other hand, the rod of adversity shall chastise, and the sword of affliction fall upon him, let us kindly endeavour to footh his forrows, and by partaking, mitigate his distress.

Nature points out to us these great important duties, Religion commands us to perform them, God the Father enjoined them, and God the Son himself practised them. If then we expect to live easy and happy ourselves, let us encourage the focial affections, let us rejoice in the happiness of others, remembering it will infallibly promote and increase our own. If we expect to be comforted in our afflictions, let us visit the afflicted, and weep with them that weep, remembering that whatever endears us


to our fellow-creatures, will make us also amiable in the eyes of our Creator: as it should be our pleasure, it is our interest also: God will give us more enjoyment of life for it here, and reward us for it with eternal happiness here after.

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A faithful friend is the medicine of life; and

they that seek the Lord fall find him.

have the fanction of reason to warrant, and the seal of innocence to guard and protect them, there is not perhaps one, whose sensations are so exquisite, and whose joys are so refined as that of virtuous friendship: there is not, in all earthly gratifications, one fo becoming the dignity, so suitable to the frame and disposition, fo productive of the happiness of our natures. With the most elegant propriety, therefore, doth the wise man stile it the medicine of life: a safe, a sweet and pleafing remedy: not like those medicines which the art of man hath discovered to preserve and


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restore our bodies, which, how falutary and efficacious foever they may be, are almost always nauseous and unpalatable.

The pleasures of human life, or those enjoy. ments which constitute our ideas of happiness, may, I think, be divided into the rational and the sensual: to convince mankind that they joys of the former are, (contrary to the prevailing opinion) not only equal to, but even far superior to the latter, is a talk worthy the best heads to plan, and the best hearts to execute; and it has indeed been the successless endeavour of the wise and good in all ages. To enhance the charms of virtue, and unite our happiness with our duty, would perhaps be of greater service to religion, and entitle us to a larger share of the divine favour, than any other act of piety whatsoever. I cannot but be of opinion that amongst the many duties of a. minister of the gospel, there is one which, though too often neglected, is equally useful and neceifary as any of the rest: "and that is, to have a watchful eye over the reigning manners of the times we live in; to mark and to encourage the rise of growing virtues, and to check the progress of advancing vice; to speak with becoming freedom and decency against popular prejudices and prevailing follies; to point out the want or decay of every truly christian and moral perfection; and to propose every probable means of making men more humane, benevolent and affectionate to each other, and more devoted to the service of their great Creator. With this view; and in this light, I shall beg leave to consider that partial


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particular connection between man and man, which we term friendship, lo generally commended and so little practised amongst us, and which I would gladly enforce as a duty; a duty incumbent on every man, as the law of nature, of God, and of our Saviour, who did himself not only recommend and enforce it, but also frequently perform it.

À faithful friend, says the son of Sirach, is the medicine of life ; and they that fear the Lord shall find him. A great and glorious treasure no doubt the wise man thought it, when he confidered it as a blessing which nothing but a life spent in the service of God, could entitle any man to the participation of; they that fear the Lord, they only who obey his commands, and walk in his ways, shall find him. They shall meet with this sweet reward of all their toil; and when they do meet with it, they will never repent of their labour in the search of it.

There cannot be a stronger proof of the real and intrinsic value of any thing, than the pains which are taken to counterfeit it. The more excellent the original is, the greater will be the number of poor and imperfect copies. To this, doubtless, are owing the many faint resemblances and false appearances of this great and noble virtue. Fraud, the better to carry on its designs, assumes her form and garb; hypecrisy mimicks her gesture; malice and hatred put on a mask to represent her; good-breeding, which is in reality nothing but a kind of artificial good-nature, and complaisance, which is


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