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her son, whom she expected to stand on the pinnacle of fame and shine in the world, lies in the dust, where he is spurned under the feet of the great, and insulted by the sons of prosperity.
But these evils are of small moment in comparison with that affliction, the recollection of which my subject suggests, the death of a son, who is accomplished and virtuous. I might attempt to describe fictions of this sort ; but as I know not that I have powers to make a representation appear natural, which exists in the imagination only, I shall speak of a real event that I have known.
I was once acquainted with a woman, whose amiable manners had rendered her in youth the object of universal adiniration, and who in mature age was esteemed by all who knew her, for her good sense, discretion and virtue. After the birth of several children she was deprived of her husband, and at the same time of all the means of support. A benevolent friend gave her a halfacre of ground, and a few kind neighbors, who pitied her distress, assisted her in building a cottage, where, by unremitted industry and extreme economy, she provided bread for her young family. Her house was the abode of neatness, harmony, and devotion : she gave thanks to God every morning and evening for raising up in her favor so many protectors and benefactors, and for blessing her and her offspring with so much peace and content. Among her children, all of whom were distinguished in the vicinity for their diligence, good behaviour, and love of their mother, she had one son, who was her darling. Though she endeavored to conceal it, yet he was worthy of all her partiality; for he was a youth of noble principles, and a warm and faithful heart. Happy was he,
when he attained an age, in which he was enabled in some measure to repay the attentions of his parent. He shipped himself as a seaman, made one successful voyage, returned home, and with an air of grateful exultation threw his little earnings into the lap of his mother. He again embarked, and several months passed away. I was present, when a messenger came in, and told a short and dismal story : In one of the evolutions of the vessel, the boom struck his head and put an immediate period to his existence. This event 'happened mány years ago, when I was quite young; but I never can forget the speechless agony and the dryness of her eye. Accustomed to see women weep over their afflictions, I thought it strange, that the death of such a son did not force from her a single tear.
Other catastrophes of the same kind, and of a more recent date, might be parrated; but I forbear; for I fear the recital of them would come too near the bosoms of some of my
I would not renew their grief; I
of his virtues is the source of delight. Your son is dead, but not lost forever. The gospel illuminates your mind with the rays of hope; for Jesus, whose sufferings and death pierced the soul of Mary with anguish, is the resurrection and the life. He will restore the righteous son to the fond embrace of his pious mother. There is a world where all tears will be wiped away from your eyes, and where there will no
ho do th
longer be any disappointed expectations, or any separation of friends.
If the love of a mother surpasses all other love, you, who are a son, ought with the full measure of gratitude to return her affection. You are bound to her by the strongest ties: treat her with never failing tenderness. She will love you, whatever may be your character; but let her have cause to glory in her child. Disappoint not her hope: do not by your vices plunge a sword into her bosom : do not break her heart: do not compel her to wish that God would hide her in the grave. Look unto Jesus the pattern of every excellence. Love your mother as he loved his mother : obey, honor, cherish, and protect her, as he obeyed his earthly parent. Finally, imprint on your mind the words of the wise man: He that is obedient unto the Lord, will be a comfort to his mother. Remember that thou wast born of her, and how canst thou recompense her the things that she hath done for thee? Forget not then the sorrows of thy mother.
Purification of Mary.
CHARITY THINKETH NO EVIL, BELIEVETH ALL THINGS,
HOPETH ALL THINGS.
The proper meaning of the word charity, in the praise of which St Paul is so eloquent in this chapter, is universal love. This comprehensive virtue is divided into two branches, piety and benevolence. The first respects God; the second, our neighbor. Benevolence, which intends the same thing as good will to mankind, is subdivided into several virtues ; one of the most important of which is candor. Candor is the subject of the present discourse.
Candor is that disposition of mind, which forbids us to think evil of our fellow men, and which leads us to form a favorable opinion of their persons, knowledge, sentiments and actions. It is peculiarly a virtue, which it is easier to recommend than to practise. Prejudices force themselves into the mind by so many avenues,
that no modest man would choose to say of himself, I am candid. From many vices men may refrain ; but who can preserve himself from the want of candor? If few
persons can do it, who has a right to enjoin the virtue ? These questions would prevent me from proceeding further in the subject, if they could not be answered by other questions: Can any one celebrate candor, without perceiving in himself a growing inclination to become her follower ? As she possesses so many amiable qualities, who can even think of her, without loving her ? who can behold her features, without discovering new charms, and new motives for admiring her ? In recommending candor therefore, I would hope to improve my own heart as well as yours.
We may exhibit, or be deficient in candor, in thinking or speaking, 1. of the external qualities, 11. of the knowledge and mental endowments, III. of the sentiments, and, iv. of the actions of our fellow men.
I. What is external is in a great measure, if not altogether, independent of men. They ought not therefore, it may be said, to be painfully affected by any opinion which is formed of what their own agency was not concerned in producing. This may be true ; men however cannot forbear considering their external qualities as parts of themselves. An unfavorable judgment, pronounced on these qualities, is thought to be an injury scarcely inferior to an imputation of vice. We may be candid or uncandid in the opinion, which we entertain of what is merely outward; and it is evident that whilst the former is a happy disposition of mind, the latter is a disposition which ought to be avoided. A frequent cause of deficiency in this branch of candor is an ambition of the character of acute discernment. Every eye, it is supposed, is capable of discovering what is beautiful; but a