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cation. Curiosity languishes under repeated stimulants: novelties cease to excite surprise. He who has sallied into the world, full of sunny anticipations, finds too soon how different the distant scene becomes when visited. The smooth place roughens as he approaches; the wild place becomes tame and barren; the fairy tints that beguiled him on, still fly to the distant hill, or gather upon the land he has left behind, and every part of the landscape appears greener than the spot he stands
Sooner or later you will be obliged to take refuge in content; and, lightly as you may now esteem it, to be thankful for content. I willingly admit, that I think a good deal of what you now experience, is occasioned by a somewhat sudden expansion of mind; by thoughts which lack expression; fancies, which as yet can find no occupation; feelings, which you do not yourself understand, and which you fear to have misunderstood by others. You cannot at present come in contact with intellect or sensibility, whether in books or persons, without feverish excitement: poetry, fiction, narrative, tragedy, whatsoever you read, has more than a written existence; it has an influence, and a presence, both tangible and abiding. Imaginary characters do not come "like shadows, to depart;" you live with, and love them, far more than real ones; and the secret sigh of your heart is, "O for a world of such beings, to admire, imitate, and discourse with!" Now it may startle you to be told, that this is a very inferior enjoyment of intellect; that a much higher delight will be yours, when you shall have learned to value books in precise proportion as they elucidate correctly the heart and mind of your species; in other words, when you shall read and think, less to escape from mankind, than to be brought into closer contact with them, into more enlarged and kindly communion. Very few of the great imaginative writers are morbidly disposed; they may overtop their brethren in mind, but in heart they maintain a friendly fellowship. It is no mark of superiority, to lack interest in our fellow-creatures; and the mind which cannot cheerfully, and with purpose, go from the world of thought and fancy, to that of life and action, has yet to learn its fitting use and true distinction. At your age I did not credit the possibility of such transfer; but I have since seen too many illustrious instances, to doubt that the utmost refinement of taste, and the most enthusiastic love of literature, may subsist with a graceful and goodhumored attention to inferior employments, homely duties, and
ordinary associations. The ardent love of literature, though a healthy taste in itself, is not healthily exercised, when it does not refresh our spirits, stimulate us to action, and, by invigorating our minds, reconcile us to whatsoever may be painful in our lot. A cultivated mind, accompanied by healthy sensibility, conscious that it knows of a region wherein it can always breathe" an ampler ether and diviner air," will not, on that account, be impatient of the grosser element by which it may habitually be surrounded. It can afford to suffer, to be annoyed, and entrenched upon. It bears an analogy to a religious spirit; it "is a noble and imperial bird, that, sometimes driven down by the storm, yet keeps its plumes expanded, and its eye on heaven, till, on the first gleam of sunshine, it shakes its wet and weary wing, and eagle-like, towers again to the sun."
What I have said of literature, applies equally to the love of nature; and, begging you to apply the passage yet more emphatically to the tendency of true religion, I will quote some lines from a poem that has few fellows, and no superiors :
"She can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With all that I have said, I have not yet touched the root of the malady, or proposed any adequate remedy. I am not anxious, then, for the removal of your depression, or desirous that you should be happy, merely on account of your personal enjoyment; I desire it, mainly, because you cannot otherwise be useful; and your christian profession, like a sword exposed to moisture, if it do not lose its edge, will certainly lose its polish. On this ground, my dear —, you must arouse from a lethargy not less destructive to the due performance of duty, than actual sin-nay, little short of actual sin itself. What! would you have " a world that lieth in wickedness," a world of unalloyed felicity? Would you be a christian Sybarite? Dare you murmur because the life of faith is not an eastern romance? Do you, in sober truth, desire to have your year all spring-your day all noon? So did not He "who pleased not himself;" so did not He who "had learned in whatsoever state he was,
therewith to be content,"-who knew how to suffer need, and, far harder task, knew also "how to abound." Think of these things; and instead of praying for resignation under troubles which do not exist, pray to have your heart filled with joy and thankfulness for the blessings which are showered upon you. If, in the mistaken spirit of an apostle, you shrink from contact with every thing that fastidiousness may call "common or unclean," where is the benevolence which bears to see, nay, which desires to see the misery which has no recommendation beyond its reality? If, in occasional intercourse with those who are ungraced with the charms of mind and manners, you manifest cold, impatient civility, and all but cherish dislike and disdain, where is the charity which "seeketh not her own, and endureth all things?" If, avowedly, and on system, you esteem none but the gifted, the distinguished, and the amusing, where is the spirit of Him whose gentlest words were ever to the weakest who gave an everlasting memorial to one who had done "what she could?" If, just entered on life and your christian career together, you already long for some bower of ease, and sigh for two heavens instead of one, where is the faith which professes to have here no continuing city-which proclaims, that it is enough for the servant to be as his master, and the disciple as his lord? We all get wrong the moment we forget that this world is not our rest. Midnight is not a more effectual shroud for the landscape, than unbelief for divine things, when it interposes between them and our souls. Why else are we more anxious for seasons of enjoyment than for op-portunities of usefulness? Why else do we call God our satisfying portion, yet grieve and murmur unless he satisfy us with a portion beside? Why else do we pronounce his favor to be life, and prove too often in action, that we value every thing in life more than his favor?
"Tis, by comparison, an easy task
Earth to despise; but to converse with heaven-
Yet let us seek that spirituality of mind which renders it possi-
religious, intellectual, and moral. Invigorate your soul, then, by frequent contemplations of the life of Christ, who, when "the world was all before him, where to choose," selected a path that led right through the vale of humiliation; had the cross ever before him, as the termination of the vista, the painful close of a toilsome pilgrimage. This, for your spiritual employment. Next, employ your understanding upon works of thought; read moral philosophy, as treated by sound authors; the critical discussions, not of meager minds on meager subjects, but of men of genius on works of genius. This, for your mental remedy intellectual abstractions afford the best counterpoise to a dreaming fancy. Lastly, occupy a sta ted, and as large a portion of your time as you can, in acting for others, and especially for those who "have no helper." Study benevolence, in reference to your equals, as well as inferiors; in its passive form of forbearance, as well as its active guise of charity. Avoid solitude. Arouse from reveries. Command your attention to fix on passing objects, and interest in them will, by degrees, follow. Task yourself to converse. Task yourself to listen to conversation. Withal, seek God's blessing on all your endeavors, and, ere long, the first sentence of this letter will cease to apply to my dearest
ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE THOUGHTS.-HORNE.
Purge the fountains
The heart in the body is the well-spring of life. From thence the blood proceeds, and thither it returns. therefore, and the streams will flow pure.
When we treat of the mind, we use the same word, to denote that center and source from which all our thoughts issue; as when we say, a man has a good heart, or bad heart. never thinks any evil, will never speak any, or do any. Above all things, then, watch well your thoughts. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." the fountain, and the streams will flow pure.
But is this possible? it will be asked.-Thoughts are volatile things; they arise without, or against one's will; and you may as well tell us to improve the mind, as to keep them in order, when they are risen. The task is difficult, but not so very difficult. It is difficult; but the greater will be the glory of performing it. It has been done, and therefore may be done again. It is not impossible, for then it had never been commanded" Keep thy heart with all diligence;" do your best, and, by God's grace, you will succeed.
The right government of the thoughts, to be sure, requires no small art, vigilance, and resolution. But it is a matter of such vast importance to the peace and improvement of the mind, that it is worth while to be at some pains about it. For a little consideration will show us, that our happiness or unhappiness depends generally upon our own thoughts. What happens without us does not produce either one or the other, but our thoughts and apprehensions about it. The same kind of accident which deprives one person of his reason, will give little or no concern to another; nor can any affliction, perhaps, befall the children of men, which some have not borne with cheerfulness and ease. It will be readily allowed, that a man who has so numerous and turbulent a family to govern, which are too apt to be at the command of his passions and appetites, ought not to be long from home. If he be, they will soon grow mutinous and disorderly, under the conduct of those two headstrong guides, and raise great clamors and disturbances, sometimes on very slight occasions indeed. And a more dreadful scene of misery can hardly be imagined, than that which is occasioned by such a tumultuous uproar within; when a raging conscience, or inflamed passions, are let loose, without check or control. A city in flames is but a faint emblem, or the mutiny of intoxicated mariners, who have murdered their commander, and are destroying one another. The torment of the mind, under such an insurrection and ravage, is not easy to be conceived. The most revengeful person in the world cannot wish his enemy a greater.
A wise heathen very justly observes, that a man is seldom rendered unhappy by his ignorance of the thoughts of others; but he that does not attend to the motions of his own, is certainly miserable. Yet look around you, and what do you behold? People ranging and roving all the world over,-ransacking every thing,-gazing at the stars above,-digging into the bowels of the earth below,-diving into other men's bosoms;