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calm preparation for immortality. In this serene and digna : fied state, placed as it were on the confines of the two worlds, the mind of a good man reviews Wliat is past with the complacency of an approving conscience; and looks forward, with humble mercy in the confidence of God, and with devont aspirations, toward his eternal and ever-increasing favor."
The Seasons. Persoxs of reflection and sensibility, contemplate with interest the scenes of nature. The changes of the year impart a color and character to their thoughts and feelings. When the seasons walk their round, -when the earth buds, the corn ripens, and the leaf falls,-not only are the senses impressed, but the mind is instructed; the heart is touched with sentiment, the fancy amused with visions. To a lover of nature and of wisdom, the vicissitudes of the seasons convey a proof and exhibition of the wise and benevolent contrivance of the Author of all things.
2. When suffering the inconveniences of the ruder parts of the year, we may be tempted to wonder why this rotation is necessary —why we could not be constantly gratified with vernal bloom and fragrance, or summer beauty and profusion. We imagine that, in a world of our creation, there would always be a blessing in the air, and flowers and fruits on the earth. The chilling blasts and driving snow,--the deso lated field, withered foliage, and naked tree, should make no part of the scenery which we would produce. A little thought, however, is sufficient to show the folly, if not impiety, of such distrust in the appointments of the great Creator.
3. The succession and contrast of the seasons, give scope to that care and foresight, diligence and industry, which are cssential in the dignity and enjoyment of human beings, whose happiness is connected with the exertion of their faculties. With our present constitution and state, in which impressions on the senses enter so much into our pleasures and pains, and the vivacity of our sensations is affected by comparison,--the uniformity and continuance of a perpetual spring, would greatly impair its pleasing effect upon our feelings.
4. The present distribution of the several parts of the year, is evidently connected with the welfare of the whole, and the & As-pi-ra--tions, ardent wishes.
c Vernal, belonging to spring. Roia'tion, turning as a whool
Fo-u-ag, leaves of trook.
production of the greatest sum of being and enjoyment That motion in the earth, and change of place in the sun, which cause one region of the globe to be consigned to cold, decay, and barrenness, impart to another heat and life, sertility and beauty. While in our climate the earth is bound with frost, and the “ chilly smothering snows” are falling, the inhabitants of another behold the earth planted with re. getation and appareled in verdure, and those of a third are rejoicing in the appointed weeks of harvest. 5. Each season comes, attended with its benefits and plea
All are sensible of the charms of spring. Then the senses are delighted with the feast that is furnished on every field, and on every hill. The eye is sweetly delayed on every object to which it turns. It is yrateful to perceive how widely, yet chastely, nature has mixed her colors and painted her robe,-how bountifully she has scattered her blossoms and flung her odors. We listen with joy to the melody she nas awakened in the groves, and catch health from the pure and tepida gales that blow from the mountains.
6. When the summer exhibits the whole force of active nature, and shines in full beauty and splendor,—when the succeeding season offers its “ purple stores and golden grain," or displays its blended and softened tints,---when the winter puts on its sullen aspect, and brings stillness and repose, affording a respit from the labors which have occupied the preceding months, inviting us to reflection, and compensating for the want of attractions abroad, by fireside delights and home-felt joys-in all this interchange and variety, we find reason to acknowledge the wise and benevolent care of the God of seasons.
7. We are passing from the finer to the ruder portions of the year. The sun emitsh a sainter beam, and the sky is frequently overcast. The gardens and fields have become a waste, and the forests have shed their verdant honors. The hills are no more enlivened with the bleating of flocks, and the woodland no longer resounds with the song of birds In these changes we see evidences of our own instability and images of our transitoryo state.
8. Our life is compared to a falling leaf. When we are disposed to count on protracted years,-io defer any serious ihoughts of futurity, and to extend our plans through a long succession of seasons,—the spectacle of the “fading manycolored woods,” and the naked trees, affords a salutary admonition of our frailty. It should teach us to fill the short year of our life, or that portion of it which may be allotted
c Trans-i-lo-ry, ficcting.
a Tepic, molerately warm. in mit Wur:i.
to us, with useful employments and harmless pleasures,-to practice that industry, activity, and order, which the course of the natural world is constantly preaching.
9. Let not the passions blight the intellect in the spring of its advancement; nor indolence nor vice canker the promise of the heart in the blossom. Then shall the summer of life be adorned with moral beauty,—the autumn yield a harvest of wisdom and virtue,—and the winter of age be cheered with pleasing reflections on the past, and bright hopes of the future.
On the Swiftness of Time. 1. The natural advantages which arise from the position of the earth we inhabit, with respect to the other planets, afford much employment to mathematical speculation, by which it has been discovered, that no other conformation of the system could have given such commodious distributions of light and heat, or have imparted fertility and pleasure to so great a part of a revolving sphere.
2. It may perhaps be observed by the moralist, with equal reason, that our globe seems particularly fitted for the residence of a being, placed here only for a short time, whose task is to advance himself to a higher and happier state of existence, by unremitted vigilance of caution, and activity of virtue.
3. The duties required of man, are such as human nature does not willingly perform, and such as those are inclined to delay, who yet intend, at some time, to fulfill them. It was therefore necessary, that this universal reluctance should be counteracted, a and the drowsiness of hesitation wakened into resolve,—that the danger of procrastination should be always in view, and the fallaciese of security be hourly detected.
4. To this end all the appearances of nature uniformly con pire. Whatever we see, on every side, reminds us of the lapse of time and the flux of life. The day and night succeed each other; tiie rotation of seasons diversifies the year the sun rises, attains the meridian, declines and sets; and the moon, every night, changes its form.
5. The day has been considered as an image of the year and a year as the representation of life. The morning an: swers to the spring, and the spring to childhood and youth, The noon corresponds to the summer, and the summer 33 a Coun-ter-act'-ell, acted in opposition. c Fall-la-cies, false appearances, docells 6 Pro cras-ti-na'-tion, delay,
the strength of manhood. The evening is an emblem of autunin, and autumn of declining life. The night, with its silence and darkness, shows the winter, in which all the powers of vegetation are berumbed; and the winter poimts out the time when life shall cease, with its lopes and pleasuresi
6. He that is carried forward, however swiftly, by a nio. tion equable and easy, perceives not the change of place but by the variation of objects. If the wheel of life which rolls thus silently along, passed on with rundistinguishable uniformity, we should never mark its approaches to the end o the course. If one hour were like another, if the passage of the sun did not show that the day is wasting:- if the change of seasons did not impress upon us the flight of the year,-quantities of duration, equal to days and years, would glide unobserved.
7. If the parts of time were mot variously colored, we should never discern their departure or succession; bue shoukl live, thoughtless of the past, and careless of the fue ture, --without will, and perhaps without power to compute the periods of life, or to compare the time which is already lost with that which may probably remain.
8. But the course of tine is so visibly marked, tirat it is even observed by the passage.--and by nations who have raised their minds very little above animal instinct: tliere are human beings, whose language does not supply them with words by which they can number five; but I have read of none that have not nanres for day and night, for suniner and winter.
9. Yet it is certain that these admonitions of nature, how:ever importunate,s are too often vain ; and that many, who mark with such accuracy the course of time, appear to liave little sensibility of the decline of life. Every nxail las something to do which he neglects; every man has fuults to conquer which he delays to combat.
10. So little do we accustom ourschtes to consider the effacts of time, that things necessary and certain, often surprise us like unexpected contingencies. We leave the beauty in her bloom, and, after an absence of twenty years, wonder at our return to find her faded. We meet those whom we left children, and can scarcely persuade ourselves to treat them
The traveler visits, in age, those countries through which he rambled in his youth, and hopes for ntcrriment at the old place. The man of business, wearied with unsatisfactory prosperity, retires to the town of his nativity, and ex
LI a Err-bleni, a representation of somo Ina-por-tu-nate, pressing with solicks
c Con-tin' gon-cios, casual events. Hilon
pects to play away his last years with the companions of his childhood, and recover youth iu the fields where he once was young
11. From this inattention-so general and so mischievouset it be every man's study to exempt himself. Let him that desires to see others happy, make haste to give while his gift can be erjoyed; and remember, that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his benefaction ;' and let him who proposes his own happiness, reflect, that while ke forms kis purpose the day rolls on, and “the night cometh wlien no man can work."
The anappiness resulting from unrestruinel passions. 1. The passions are those strong enotions of the mind, which impel it to desire and to act with vehemence. When directed toward proper objects, and kept within just bounds they possess a useful place in our frame,--they add vigor and Cergy to the mind, and enable it, on great occasions, to act with uncommon force and success; but they always require the government and restraint of reason,
2. It is in the mind just as it is in the body. Every meniber of the body is useful, and serves some good purpose. But if any one swell to an enormous size, it presently becomes a disease. Thus, when a man's passions go on in a calm and anoderate train, and no object takes an inordinatel hold of any of them, his spirit is in this part sound, and his life proceeds with tranquillity. But if any of them be so far indulged atid lest without restraint as to run into excess, a dangerous blow will then be given to the heart.
3. Supposing, for instance, that some passion, even of the auture of those which are reckoned innocent, shall so far reize a man, as to conquer and overpower him ;-his tranquilfity will be destroyed. The balance of his soul is lost; he is no longer his own master, nor is capable of attending properly to the offices of life which are incumbent on him, or or turning his thoughts into any other direction than what passion points out. He may be sensible of the wound, ---may feel the dart that is fixed in his breast, but is unable to extract it.
4. But the case becomes infinitely worse, if the passion which has seized a man be of the vicious and malignant, kind. Let him be placed in the most prosperous situation of life.-give him external ease and affluence to the full, and let his 4 Bene-faction, charitable gift.
c in-c:!m'-hent, imposed as a du!r. O'n--di nate, immoderate, excessive d Ma-lig'.nant, malicious virulers