« НазадПродовжити »
valiable, when employed in advancing the good of mankind. Hence, they frequently give rise to fame. But a distinction is to be made between fame and true honour. The former is a loud and noisy applause; the latter, a more silent and internal homage. Fame floats on the breath of the multitude; Honour rests on the judgment of the thinking. Fame may give praise while it with-holds esteem; true honour implies esteem mingled with respect. The one regards particular distinguished talents; the other looks up to the whole character. Hence the statesman, the orator, or the poet, may be famous, while yet the man himself is far from being honoured. We envy his abilities. We wish to rival them. But we would not chuse to be classed with him who possessed them.
From all this it follows, that in order to discern where man's true honour lies, we must look, not to any single adventitious circumstance of fortune; not to any sparkling quality ; but to the whole of what forms a man; what entitles him, as such, to rank high among the class of beings to which he belongs ; in a word, we must look to the mind and the soul. A mind superior to fear, to selfish interest and corruption; a mind governed by the principles of uniform rectitude and integrity; the same in prosperity and adversity, which no bribe can seduce, nor terror overawe; neither by pleasure melted into effeminacy, nor by distress sunk into dejection; such is the mind which forms the distinction and eminence of men.--One, who in no situation of life is either ashamed or afraid of discharging his duty, and acting his proper part with firmness and constancy; true to the God whom he worships, and true to the faith in which he professes to believe; full of affection to his brethren of mankind ;-faithful to his friends, generous to his enemies, warm with compassion to the unfortunate; self-denying to little private interests and pleasures, but zealous for pnblic interest and happiness; magnanimous, without being proud; humble, without being mean; just, without being harsh; simple in his manners, but manly in his feelings; on whose word you can entirely rely; whose countenance never deceives you; whose professions of kindness are the effusions of his heart; one, in fine, whom, independent of any views of advantage, you would choose for a superior, could trust in as a friend, and could love as a brother :- This is the man, whom in your heart, above all others, you do, you must honour.
THE TWO BEES.
N a fine morning in May, two bees set forward
in quest of honey; the one wise and temperate, the other careless and extravagant: they soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic herbs, the most fragrant flowers, and most delicious fruits. They regaled themselves for a time on the various dainties that were spread before them: the one loading his thigh at intervals with provisions for the hive against the distant winter; the other revelling in sweets, without regard to any thing but his present gratification, At length they found a wide-mouthed phial that hung beneath the bough of a peach-tree filled with honey ready tempered, and exposed to their taste in the most alluring manner. The thoughtless epicure, in spite of all his friend's remonstrances, plunged headlong into the vessel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality. The philosopher, on the other hand, sipped a little with caution ; but being suspi. cious of danger flew off to fruits and flowers, where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish
for the true enjoyment of them. In the evening, however, he called upon his friend to enquire whether he would return to the hive, but found him surfeited in sweets which he was as unable to leave as to enjoy. Clogged in his wings, enfeebled in his feet, and his whole frame totally enervated, he was but just able to bid his friend adieu, and to lament with his latest breath that 'though a taste of pleasure might quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence is inevitable destruction.'
ADVANTAGES OF REVELATION.
EVELATION dissipates all our obscurities, and
teaches us clearly, without a doubt, that God willeth our immortality. It carries our thoughts forward to a future state, as to a fixed period whither the greatest part of the promises of God tend. It commands us, indeed, to consider all the blessings of this life, the aliments that nourish us, the rays which enlighten us, the air that we breathe ; sceptres, crowns, and kingdoms, as effects of the liberality of God, and as grounds of our gratitude: but at the same time it requires us to surmount the most magnificent earthly objects. It commands us to consider light, air, and aliments; crowns, sceptres, and kingdoms, as unfit to constitute the felicity of a soul created in the image of the blessed God, and with whom the blessed God has formed a close and intimate union. It assures us that an age of life cannot fill the wish of duration, which it is the noble prerogative of an immortal soul to form. It does not ground the doctrine of immortality on inetaphysical speculatious, nor on complex arguments, above the comprehension of the greatest part of mankind, and which will always leave some doubts in the minds of philosophers. The gospel grounds the doctrine on the only principle that can support the weight with which it is encumbered.—The principle which I mean, is, the will of the Creator; who, having created our souls at first by an act of his will, can either eternally preserve them, or totally annihilate them--whether they be material or spiritual, mortal, or immortal by nature. Thus the disciple of revealed religion does not float between doubt and assurance, hope and fear, as the disciple of nature does. He is not obliged to leave the most interesting question, that poor mortals can agitate, undecided :
-whether their souls perish with their bodies, or survive their ruins. He does not say, as Cyrus said to his children-" I know not how. to persuade myself that the soul lives in this mortal body, and ceases to be when this body expires : I am more inclined to think that it acquires after death more penetration and purity.” He does not say as Socrates said to his judges" And now we are going I to suffer death, and you to enjoy life :-God only knows which is best.” He does not say as Cicero said, speaking on this important article-" I do not pretend to say, that what I affirm is as infallible as the Pythian oracle, I speak only by conjecture. The disciple of revelation, authorized by Jesus Christ, who hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” boldly affirms Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that wbich I have committed unto him against that day.”.
THE DYING CHRISTIAN.
sider the awful symptoms of death, and the violent agonies of dissolving nature, they appear to me as medical preparations-sharp, but salutary; they are necessary to detach me from life, and to separate the remains of inward depravity from'me: besides, I shall not be abandoned to my own frailty, but my patience and constancy will be proportional to my sufferings; and that powerful arm which hath supported me through life, will uphold me under the pressure of death. If I consider my sins, many as they are, I am invulnerable ; for I go to a tribunal of mercy, where God is reconciled, and justice is satisfied. If I consider my body, I perceive I am putting off a mean and corruptible habit, and putting on robes of glory. Fall, fall, ye imperfect senses, ye frail organs !.-Fall, house of clay, into your original dust! ye will be sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption ; sown in dishonour, but raised in glory; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body. If I consider my soul, it is passing I see from slavery to freedom. I shall carry with me that which thinks and reflects; I shall carry with me the delicacy of taste; the harmony of sounds; the beauty of colours; and the fragrance of odoriferous smells. I shall surmount heaven and earth, nature, and all terrestrial things, and my ideas of all their beauties will multiply and expand. If I consider the future economy to which I go, I have, I own, very inadequate notions of it; but my incapacity is the ground of my expectation. Could'I perfectly comprehend it, it would argue its resemblance to some of the present objects of my senses, or its minute proportion