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THE nobility arising from birth, is by far inferior to that which proceeds from merit.
MARCUS Aurelius was averse to every thing that had the air of pomp and luxury. He lay upon the bare ground; at twelve years old he took the habit of a philofopher; he forbore the use of guards, the imperial ornaments, and the enfigns of honour, which were carried before the Cæsars and the Augufti. Nor was this con. duct owing to his ignorance of what was grand and beautiful, but to the jufter and purer taste he had of both, and to an intimate persuasion, that the greatest glory, and principal duty of man, especially if in power, and eminently conspicuous, is so far to imitate the Deity, as to throw himself into a condition of wanting as little as may be for himself, and doing all the good to others he is capable of.
IF it shews a greatness of soul to overlook our own nobility, and not suffer it to gain the ascendant over our actions, we may likewise observe, that it is no less great in such as have raised themselves by merit, not to forget the meanness of their extraction, nor be ashamed of it.
WE read in the scriptures, that Boaz, in the midst of riches, was laborious, diligent in husbandry, plain without luxury, delicacy, sloth or pride. How affable, how obliging and kind to his servants ! - The Lord be with
you,” says he to his reapers; and they answered him, • The Lord bless thee." This was the beautiful language of religious antiquity ; but how little known in our days.
How commendable was his behaviour towards Ruth, when he desires her not to go into any other field to glean, but to abide fast by his maidens, to eat and drink with them; and the charitable order he gives his reapers to let her glean even among the sheaves, and to let fall some of the handfuls on purpose for her, that she might gather them up without being alhamed ; teaching us by this wife conduct, to save those we oblige, the confusion of receiving, and ourselves the temptation of vain-glory in giving.
THE Providence of God is universal; it presides over all to the minutest particular, and governs and directs all.
Part of the Book of Job versified.
Then the Chaldean eas'd his lab’ring breast,
To a Child of a Month old.
BLESS’D babe, who stranger to all worldly strife,
When growing sense, to rip’ning judgment join'd,
PROSPERITY quickens, and gives a sort of false courage to men of low, degenerate minds, and dresses them up in an outward grandeur, which imposes upon the majority of mankind; but adversity is the touchstone of fouls truly great and generous..
SILENCE is sometimes more fignificant and sub. lime, than the most noble and most expreilive eloquence, and is, on many occasions, the indication of a great mind.
But filence never shews itself to fo great an advantage, as when it is made the reply to calumny and defamation, provided that we give no just occasion for them.
HOW afferent is the view of past life, in the man who is grown old in knowledge and wisdom, from that of him who is grown old in ignorance and folly. The
latter latter is like the owner of a barren country, that fills his eye with the prospect of naked hills and plains, which produce nothing either profitable or ornamental; the other beholds a beautiful and spacious landscape, divided into delightful gardens, green meadows, fruitful fields, and can scarce cast his eye on a single spot of his poffeffions, that is not covered with some beautiful plant or flower.
TO look upon the soul as going on from strength to strength, to consider that she is to shine for ever with new accessions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will be still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge; carries in it something wonderfully agreeable to that ambition, which is natural to the mind of man. Nay, it must be a prospect pleasing to God himself, to see his creation for ever beautifying in his eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater degrees of resemblance.
THAT we might not want inducements to engage us in such an exercise of the body, as is proper for its welfare, it is fo ordered, that nothing valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention riches and honour, even food and raiment are not to be come at without the toil of the hands, and sweat of the brows. Providence furnishes materials, but expects that we should work them up ourselves.
As for those who are not obliged to labour, by the condition in which they are born, they are more miserable than the rest of mankind, unless they indulge themselves in that voluntary labour, which goes by the name of exercise.
Thoughts on the Grave of a Child.-By a Father.
HERE, here she lies! Oh! could I once more view Those dear remains; take one more fond adieu; Weep o'er that face of innocence, or save One darling feature, from the noisome grave! Vain wish!--now low in earth that form of love Decays, unseen, yet not forgot above.