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And as his springing steps advance, /
And cowering foes shall fall beneath
That lovely messenger of death! ||
By angel hands to valor given !!
And all thy hues were born in heaven; 1
Where breathes the foe but falls before us, I
And freedom's banner streaming o'er us!!
MOTIVES TO THE PRACTICE OF GENTLENESS.
(BLAIR.) To promote the virtue of gentleness, I we ought to view our character with an impartial eye; | and to learn, from our own failings, to give that indulgence which in our turn we claim. 1 It is pride which fills the world with so much harshness and severity. | In the fulness of self-estimation, / we forget what we are. We claim attentions to which we are not entitled. We are rigorous to offences, I as if we had never offend. ed; / unfeeling to distress, as if we knew not what it was to suffer. | From those airy regions of pride and folly, I let us descend to our proper level. I Let us survey the natural equality I on which Providence has placed man with man, I and reflect on the infirmities common to all. | If the reflection on natural equality and mutual offences, I be insufficient to prompt humanity, I let us at least remember what we are in the sight of our Creator. | Have we none of that forbearance to give one another, / which we all so earnestly entreat from heaven? | Can we look for clemency or gentleness from our Judge, when we are so backward to show it to our own brethren? ||
Let us also accustom ourselves to reflect on the small moment of those things / which are the usual incentives to violence and contention. In the ruffled and angry hour, / we view every appearance through a false medium. | The most inconsiderable point of interest or honor, | swells into a momentous object; and the slightest attack seems to threaten immediate ruin. | But after passion or pride has subsided, we look around in vain for the mighty mischiefs we dreaded. | The fabric which our disturbed imagination hac reared, I totally disappears. | But though the eause of contention has dwindled away, I its consequences remain. | We have alienated a friend ; / we have embittered an enemy; / we have sown the seeds of future suspicion, malevolence, or disgust. — Let us suspepi our violence for a moment, | when causes of discor occur. | Let us anticipate that period of coolness. which, of itself, will soon arrive. | Let us reflect how little we have any prospect of gaining by fierce con tention; 1 but how mucii of the true happiness of life we are certain of throwing away. ! Easily, and from the smallest chink, I the bitter waters of strife are le forth; , but their course cannot be foreseen; , and he seldom fails of suffering most from their poisonous effect, / who first allows them to flow. /
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ORDER IN THE DISTRIBUTION
OF OUR TIME.
(BLAIR.) Time we ought to consider | as a sacred trust committed to us by God; I of which we are now the depositaries, I and are to render an account at the last. That portion of it which he has allotted to us, , is intended partly for the concerns of this world, partly for those of the next. | Let each of these occupy, in the distribution of our time, / that space which properly belongs to it. 1 Let not the hours of hospitality and pleasure, I interfere with the discharge of our necessary affairs; land let not what we call necessary affairs, encroach upon the time which is due to devotion. To every thing there is a season, I and a time for every purpose under heaven. | If we delay till to-morrow, what ought to be done to-day,' we overcharge the morrow with a burden which belongs not to it. I We load the wheels of time, I and prevent them from carrying us along smoothly. | He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, ! and follows out that plan, I carries on a thread / which will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. I The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light, / which darts itself through all his affairs. | But, where no plan is laid, I where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, / all things lie huddled together in one chaos, / which admits neither of distribution nor review. I
The first requisite for introducing order into the management of time, I is, to be impressed with a just sense of its value. | Let us consider well how much depends upon it, I and how fast it flies away. | The bulk of men are in nothing more capricious and incon sistent, i than in their appreciation of time. When they think of it as the measure of their continuance on earth, they highly prize it, I and with the greatest anxiety seek to lengthen it out. | But when they view it in separate parcels, i they appear to hold it in contempt, and squander it with inconsiderate profusion. While they complain that life is short, I they are often wishing its different periods at an end. | Covetous of every other possession, I of time only they are prodigal. | They allow every idle man to be master of this property, I and make every frivolous occupation welcome that can help them to consume it. | Among those who are so careless of time, I it is not to be expected that order should be observed in its distribution. | But, by this fatal neglect, I how many materials of severe and lasting regret are they laying up in store for themselves! | The time which they suffer to pass away in the midst of confusion, bitter repentance seeks afterwards in vain to recall. | What was omitted to be done at its proper moment, I arises to be the torment of some future season. | Manhood is disgraced by the consequences of neglected youth. \ Old age, | oppressed by cares that belonged to a former period, i labors under a burden not its own. | At the close of life, / the dying man beholds with anguish that his days are finishing, / when his preparation for eternity is hardly commenced. Such are the effects of a disorderly waste of time, I through not attending to its value. | Every thing in the life of such persons is misplaced. | Nothing is performed arighi, from not being performed in due season. I
But he who is orderly in the distribution of his time, į takes the proper method of escaping those manifold evils. | He is justly said to redeem the time. | By proper management, he prolongs il. | He lives much in little space; / more in a few years, than others do in many. | He can live to God and his own soul, and
at the same time, attend to all the lawful interests of the present world. I He looks back on the past, I and provides for the future. | He catches and arrests the hours as they fly. They are marked down for useful purposes, and their memory remains. | Whereas those hours fleet by the man of confusion like a shadow.' His days and years are either blanks, l of which he has no remembrance, i or they are filled up with so confused and irregular a succession of unfinished transactions, that though he remembers he has been busy, 1 yet he can give no account of the business which has employed him. 1
INDUSTRY NECESSARY TO THE ATTAINMENT OF
(WARE.) The history of the world is full of testimony | to prove how much depends upon industry; I not an eminent orator has lived but is an example of it. | Yet, in contradiction to all this, I the almost universal feel. ing appears to be, that industry can effect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, I and that every one must be content' to remain just what he may happen to be. 1 Thus multitudes, who come forward as teachers and guides, I suffer themselves to be satisfied with the most indifferent attainments, I and a miserable mediocrity,' without so much as inquiring how they may rise higher, / much less making any attempt to rise.'
For any other art they would have served an apprenticeship, I and would be ashamed to practise it in public before they had learned it. | If any one would sing,' he attends a master,' and is drilled in the very elementary principles; and only after the most labori. ous process,' dares to exercise his voice in public. | This he does, 'though he has scarce any thing to learn but the mechanical execution of what lies in sensible