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Here all my better faculties confine,
And be this hour of facred filence thine.
If by the day's illufive scenes milled,
My erring foul from virtue's paths has ftray'd,
Snar’d by example, or by pallion warm’d,
Some false delight my giddy fense has charm’d;
My calmer thoughts the wretched choice reprove,
my best hopes are center'd in thy love,
Depriv'd of this, can life one joy afford !
Its utmost boast, a vain, unmeaning word.
Bat, ah! how oft my lawless passions rove,
And break those awful precepts I approve !
Pursue the fatal impulse I abhor,
And violate the virtue I adore !
Oft when thy better Spirit's guardian care,
Warn’d my fond soul to thun the tempting snare,
My stubborn will his gentle aid represt,
And check'd the rifing goodness in my breast ;
Mad with vain hopes, or urg'd by false desires,
Stilld his soft voice, and quenched his sacred fires.
With grief opprest, and prostrate in the duft,
Should'st thou condemn,' I own the sentence juft.
But, oh! thy softer titles let me claim,
And plead my cause by mercy's gentle name
Mercy, that wipes the penitential tear,
And dissipates the horror of despair ;
From rig'rous justice steals the vengeful hour,
Softens the dreadful attribute of pow'r,
Disarms the wrath of an offended God,
And seals iny pardon in a Saviour's blood.
All-pow'rful grace, exert thy gentle fway,
And teach my rebel paflions to obey,
Left lurking folly, with insidious art,
Regain my volatile, inconstant heart.
Shall every high resolve devotion frames,
Be only lifeless sounds and specious names ?"
Oh! rather while thy hopes and fears controul,
In this still hour, each motion of my
Secure its safety by a sudden doom,
And be the soft retreat of sleep my tomb:
Calm let me slumber in that dark repose, .
'Till the last morn its orient beam disclose;
Then when the great archangel's potent sound
Shall echo thro' creation's ample round,
Wak'd from the sleep of death, with joy survey
The op'ning splendors of eternal day.
PRIDE hides a man's faults from himself, and magnifies them to others.
" THERE is nothing (says Plato) so delightful, as " the hearing or fpeaking of truth.” For this reason, there is no conversation so agreeable, as that of the man of integrity, who hears without any intention to betray, and speaks without any intention to deceive.
Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out. It is always near at hand, and fits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware. Whereas a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention on the rack; and one trick needs a great many more of the same kind to make it good.
MORAL virtues themselves, without religion, are but cold, lifeless and insipid. It is religion only which opens the mind to great conceptions, fills it with the most sublime ideas, and warms the foul more than fensuai pleasures.
BY reading we enjoy the dead, hy conversation the living, and by contemplation, ourselves. Reading en riches the memory, conversation polishes the wit, and contemplation improves the judgment.
THE commands of Heaven (in the observance of which religion principally conäfts) are very plain and obvious to the meanest understanding, and are nothing else but exhortations to love, and directions for social hap piness.
- GREAT is the feadiness of foul and thought,
By reason bred, and by religion taught,
Which like a rock amidst the stormy waves,
Unmov'd remains, and all affliction braves.
WISDOM's an evenness of mind and soul,
A steady temper which no cares controul;
No passions ruffle, no desires inflame;
Still constant to itself, and still the same.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS by Heaven were firit design'd,
Less to adorn, than to amend, the mind.
Each should contribute to this gen’ral end,
And all to virtue as their centre tend.
Th’acquirements which our best esteem invite,
Should not project, but soften, mix, unite ;
In glaring light not strongly be display'd,
But sweetly loft, and melted into thade.
AS the gay flowers which nature yields-
So various on the vernal fields,
Delight the fancy more than those
The garden gives to view in equal rows;
As the pure stream, whose mazy train,
The prattling pebbles check in vain,
Gives native pleasure, while it leads
Its random waters swiftly thro’ the meads;
As birds on boughs, in early spring,
Their wood notes-wild near rivers fing,
Grateful their warbling strains repeat,
And footh the ear irregularly sweet ;,
So fimple dress and native grace,
Will beft become the lovely face:
For the judicious man suspects
In artful ornaments conceal'd defects,
· MOST of the miseries of life, undoubtedly result from our straying from the path which leads to content,
FRIENDSHIP delights in equal fellowship,
Where purity of rank, and mutual offices,
Engage both sides alike, and keep the balance even.
'Tis irksome to a gen'rous grateful heart,
To be oppress’d beneath a load of favours;
Still to receive and run in debt with friendship,
Without the power of paying something back.
NEVER say any thing direEtly tending to your own praise ; nor when you have done or said any thing that deserves it, receive it from others with indifference. Be neither too covetous of it, nor appear displeased or confused at receiving it: but when you have done any thing worthy of praise, suffer yourself to be told of it, without rebusting those who are doing you justice. In your private thoughts divest yourself of it, and return it to God, as the giver of the gift, and the blesser of the actionr. Give him unfeigned thanks, for making you an instrument of his glory for the benefit of others.
THE advice of Pythagoras is, that as the body is no more than the servant of the foul, it should only be nourished fo as it may best perform an humble and obedient service to it.
THE duties that are owing to friends are integrity, love, counsel, and assistance. It is not intimacy and frequency of conversation, that makes a friend, but a disinterested observance of these duties.
THERE is no manner of life so strait, or miserable, that hath not some solace and confolation. Jonah had leisure to make his prayer unto God, even in the belly of the whale, and was heard.
IT is some short refreshment to friends and relations, to fee and hear from one another; but it passeth away, and we have here no continuing city, no abiding delights in this world : cur reft remains elsewhere. I hope we have, lose much of their sweetness, from the thoughts of parting with them, even while we enjoy them ; but the happiness to come is eternal.
BE very careful in your promises, and just in your performances, and remember it is better to do, and not promise, than to promise, and not perform.
NEVER do any thing for your friends, that is not consonant to your honour and your conscience; you ought always to prefer those to your friends.
-WITH stealing foot,
Time follows mortals; overtakes the swift ;
Stops the career of youth, and clogs the wheels
Of trembling age; and to one common doom
Brings kings and peasants, conquerors and flaves.
RELIGION's force divine is best display'd
In deep desertion of all human aid.
To fuccour in extremes is her delight,
And chear the heart, when terror strikes the fight.
We, disbelieving our own senses, gaze,
And wonder what a mortal's heart can raise
To triumph o'er misfortunes, smile in grief,
And comfort those, who come to bring relief :
We gaze, and as we gaze, wealth, fame, decay,
And all the world's vain glories fade away.
WE need not travel, seeking ways to bliss,
He that desires contentment cannot miss ;
No garden-wails this precious flow'r embrace,
It common grows
THE varying seasons ev'ry virtuous soul
With various pleasures, in their changes bless;
Raise chearful hopes, and anxious fears controul,
And form a paradise of inward peace.
WHEN constant faith, and holy hope shall die,
One loft in certainty, and one in joy ;
Then thou, more happy pow'r, fair charity,
Triumphant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office and thy nature still the same,
Lafting thy lamp, and unconsum'd thy flame,