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6. But there is one thing of which it is proper ever to remind you,--because the modesty of knowledge often leads us to forget it,and that is, the power of scientific benevolence is far greater than that of all others to the wellare o' society. The benevolence of the opulent, however emi nent it may be, perishes with themselves. The benevolence, even of sovereigns, is limited to the narrow boundary of kuman life; and not unfrequently is succeeded by different and discordant counsels. But the benevolence of knowledge is of a kind as extensive as the race of man, and as permanent as the existence of society.
7. He, in whatever situation he may be, who in the study of science has discovered a new means of alleviating pain, or of remedying disease,, who has described a wiser method of preventing poverty, or of shielding misfortune-who has suggested additional means of increasing or improving the beneficent productions of nature,--has left a memorial of himself which can never be forgotten,-which will communicate happiness to ages yet unborn,-and which, in the enphatic language of scripture, renders him a “fellow-worker? with God himself, in the improvement of his Creation.
8. The third great end of all knowledge is the improvement and exaltation of our own minds. It was the voice of the apostle,—“What manner of men ought ye to be, to whom the truths of the Gospel have come ?”—It is the voice of nature also,-“What manner of men ought ye to be, to whom the treasures of wisdom are opened ?"-Of all the spectacles, indeed, which life can offer us, there is none more painful, or unatural, than that of the union of vice with knowledge. It counteracts the great designs of God in the distribution of wisdom; and it assimilates) men, not to the usual characier of human frailty, but to those dark and malignant spirits who fell from Heaven, and who excel in knowledge only that they may employ it in malevolence.
9. To the wise and virtuous man, on the contrary,to him whose moral attainments have kept pace with his intellectual, and who has employed the great talent with which he is ine trusted to the glory of God, and to the good of humanity, are presented the sublimest prospect that mortality can know. “In my father's house," says our Savior,“ are many man. sions ;"_mansions, we may dare interpret, fitted to the different powers that life has acquired, and to the uses to which they have been applied. a Op'-u-lent, very wealthy, rich.
c In-ter'.pret, to expladin. b As-sim-l-lates, makes like.
Integrityø the guide of life. 1. Every one who has begun to make any progress in the world, will be sensible, that to conduct himself in hunan af
fairs with wisdom and 'propriety, is often a matter of no small pelit difficulty. Amidst thai variety of characters, of jarring disniente positions, and of interfering interests, which take place among
those with whom we have intercourse, we are frequently at a uds stand as to the part most prudent for us to choose. Ignorant
of what is passing in the breasts of those around us, we can form no more than doubtful conjectures concerning the events that are likely to happen.
2. They may take some turn altogether different from the course in which we have imagined they were to run, according to which we had formed our plans. The slightest inci. dent often shoots out into important consequences, of which we were not aware. The labyrinth becomes so intricate, that the most sagacious' can lay hold of no clue to guide him through it: he finds himself embarrassed, and at a loss how to act. - In public and in private life, in managing his own concerns, and in directing those of others, the doubt started by the wise man frequently occurs; Who knoweth what is good for man in this life?
3. While thus fatigued with conjecture, we remain perplexed and undetermined in our choice; we are at the same time pulled to different sides by the various emotions which belong to our nature. On one hand, pleasure allures us to what is agreeable; on the other, interest weighs us down toward what seems gainful. Honor attracts us to what is splendid; and indolence inclines us to what is easy. In the consultations which we hold with our own mind concerning our conduct, how often are we thus divided within ourselves, puzzled by the uncertainty of future events, and distracted by the contest of different inclinations!
4. It is in such situations as these, that the principle of integrity interposes to give light and direction. While worldly men fuctuate in the midst of those perplexities which I have described, the virtuous man has one oracled to which he retorts in every dubious case, and whose decisions he holds to de infallible. He consults his own conscience; he listens to the voice of God. Were it only on a few occasions that this oracle could be consulted, its value would be less. But it is a mistake to imagine that its responsese are seldom given.
& In-polri-ty, uprightness.
c Sa-ga'-clous, wise, discerning.
Or-a-cle, a Pagan delty.
5. Hardly is there any material transaction whatever in human life any important question that holds us in suspense as to practice--but the difference between right and wrong will show itself; and the principle of integrity will, if we listen to it impartially, give a clear decision. Whenever the mind is divided in itself, conscience is seldom or never neutral. 'There is always one scale of the balance, into which it throws the weight of some virtue, or some praise; of some thing that is just and true, lovely, honest, and of good report
6. These are the forms which rise to the observation of the upright man. By others they may be unseen or overlooked ; but in his eye, the luster of virtue outshines all other brightmess. Wherever this pole-star directs him, he steadily holds liis course.— Let the issue of that course be ever so uncertain ;--let his friends differ from him in opinion ;-let his enemies clamor ;-he is not moved ;-his purpose is fixed.
7. He asks but one question of his heart, What is the part most becoming the station which he possesses,—the character which he wishes to bear,--the expectations which good men entertain of him? Being once decided as to this, he hesitates no more. Heshuts his ears against every solicitation. He pursues the direct line of integrity without turning either to the right hand or to the left. It is the Lord who calleth. Him I follow. Let him order what seemeth good in his sight." It is in this manner, that the integrity of the upright acts as his guide.
1. The air, the earth, the water, teem with delighted exis. lence. In a spring noon or summer evening, on which ever side we turn our eyes, myriads of happy beings crowd upon our view. “The insect youth are on the wing.” Swarins of new born flies are trying their pinions in the air. Their sportive motions,-their gratuitousc activity,--their continual change of place, without use or purpose,-testify their joy, and the exultation which they feel in their lately disco vered faculties.
2. A bee, among the flowers in spring, is one of the most cheerful objects that can be looked upon. Its life appears to
a Re-spons'-es, answers.
c Gra-tu'-i-tous, free, without reward
be all enjoyment,-so busy and so pleased, -yet it is only a specimen of insect life, with which, by reason of the animal's being half domesticated,* we happen to be better acquainted than we are with that of others. The whole winged insect tribe, it is probable, are equally intent upon their proper einployments, and under every variety of constitution, gratified, and perhaps equally gratified, by the offices which the Author of their nature has assigned to them.
3. But the atinosphere is not the only scene of their enjoyment. Plants are covered with little insects, greedily sucking their juices. Other species are running about, with an alacrity in their motions, which carries with it every inark of pleasure. Large patches of ground are sometimes half covered with these brisk and sprightly natures. .
4. If we look to what the waters produce, shoals of fish frequent the margins of rivers, of lakes, and of the sea itself. These are so happy, that they know not wliat to do with themselves. Their attitudest—their vivacity-their leaps out of the water-their frolics in it,-all conduce to show their excess of spirits, and are simply the effects of that excess. Walking by the seaside, in a calm evening, upon a sandy shore and with an ebbing tide, I have frequently remarked the appearance of a dark cloud, or rather very thick mist, hanging over the edge of the water, to the height perhaps of half a yard, and of the breadth of two or three yards, stretching along the coast as far as the eye could reach, and always retiring with the water.
5. When this cloud came to be examined, it proved to be so much space filled with young shrimps, in the act of bounding into the air from the shallow margin of the water, or from the wet sand. If any motion of a mute animal could express delight, it was this : if they had designed to make signs of their happiness, they could not have done it more intelligibly. Suppose, then, what there is no reason to doubt, each individual of this number to be in a state of positive enjoyment; -what a sum, collectively, of gratification and pleasure have we here before our view!
6. The young of all animals appear to receive pleasure, simply from the exercise of their limbs and bodily faculties, without reference to any end to be attained, or any use to be answered by the exertion. A child, without knowing any thing of the use of language, is in a high degree delighted with being able to speak. Its incessant repetition of a few articulate sounds, or perhaps of a single word which it has learned to pronounce, proves this point clearly. a Do-mes'- ti-ca-ted, made tame
c Shrimps, small shell fish.
Al-Ludes. postures, gestures
7. Nor is it less pleased with its first successful endeavors to walk, although entirely ignorant of the importance of the attainment to its future life, and even without applying it to any present purpose. A child is delighted with speaking, without having any thing to say,-and with walking, without knowing whither to go. And previously to both these, it is reasonable to believe, that the waking hours of infancy are agreeably taken up with the 'exercise of vision, or perhaps more properly speaking, with learning to see.
8. But it is not for youth alone that the great Parent oi creation has provided. Happiness is found with the purring cat, no less than with the playful kitten,-in the arm-chair of dozing age, as well as in the sprightliness of the dance, or the animation of the chace. To novelty, to acuteness of sensa. lion, to hope, to ardor of pursuit, succeeds, what is in no inconsiderable degree an equivalenta for them all, “perception of ease.” · 9. Herein is the exact difference between the young and the old. The young are not happy but when enjoying pleasure; the old are happy when free from pain. And this constitution suits with the degrees of animal power which they respectively possess. The vigor of youth was to be stimulated to action by impatience of rest; while to the imbecilityb of age, quietness and repose become positive gratifications. In one important respect the advantage is with the old. A state of ease is, generally speaking, more attainable than a state of pleasure. A constitution, therefore, which can enjoy ease, is preferable to that which can taste only pleasure.
10. This same perception of ease oftentimes renders old age a condition of great comfort; especially when riding at its anchor, after a busy or tempestuous life. It is well described by Rousseau' to be the interval of repose and enjoyment, between the hurry, and the end of life. How far the same cause extends to other animal natures, cannot be judged of with certainty. The appearance of satisfaction with which most animals, as their activity subsides,d seek and enjoy rest, affords reason to believe, that this source of gratification is appointed to advanced life, under all, or most, of its various forms.
11. There is much truth in the following representation given by Dr. Percival, a very pious writer, as well as excellent man :-" To the intelligent and virtuous, old age presents a scene of tranquil enjoyments, of obedient appetites, of well regulated affections, of maturity in knowledge, and of
a E-quiv' a-lent, what is equal in worth.
c Rous-seau', a French philosopher. d Sub-sides', sinks, ceases, ends.