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Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a great part of the business of life.1
Cet heureux don de plaire, Que mieux que la vertu sait regner sur les cœurs.2 To be good and disagreeable is high treason against virtue.
Particularly amidst that familiar intercourse which belongs to domestic life all the virtues of temper find an ample range. It is very unfortunate that, within that circle, men too often think themselves at liberty to give unrestrained vent to the caprices of passion and humour; whereas, there, on the contrary, more than any where, it concerns them to attend to the government of their heart; to check what is violent in their temper; and to soften what is harsh in their manners.3
If sometimes I were hasty, harsh, unjust,
We are unhappy that we cannot see things with the same eyes; let us not make ourselves more so by mutual insult and unkindness."
3 Blair (Sermons).
What reason have you to imagine that the person whom you love and esteem is to be the only exception from the common fate? Here, if any where, it becomes you to overlook and forbear, and never to allow small failings to dwell on your attention, so much as to efface the whole of an amiable character.1
We ought patiently to bear with little disappointments, little delays, with the awkwardness, or accidental neglect, of our attendants, and, thankful for general kindness, to accept good-will instead of perfection.2
Be calm, be patient; we are all weak, frail, erring creatures; we should mutually forgive, as we hope to be forgiven.
Be careful to allow your servants, or other people employed by you in any way, sufficient time for the execution of your orders; and, with a Christian circumspection, be careful not to drive them, by needless hurry, into losing their rest, or breaking their sabbath.3
Never use any harsh language.
What right have we to expect our servants should be without faults, when we are giving them, every day, instances of our own? Let us rather bear with them, or mildly endeavour to correct them.
So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do unto you (deliver to the tormentors), if ye, from your
2 Hannah More (Practical Piety).
1 Blair (Sermons).
hearts, forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.1
We too often exact from others what we ourselves are not inclined to give.
Distinguish the faults by the motives and circumstances, and know that, although there be some which ought to be punished, there are others which ought not to be seen, because every man has his imperfections.2
Be guarded against giving or receiving little provocations.3
Whenever you have thought it your duty to notice defect to a person, never harp upon it; you only weaken the effect by disturbing the temper.
Carry always in mind and heart the two principal points of bearing and forbearing.
So carry thyself to thy children and servants, that they may fear rather thy displeasure, than thy correction.
If thou carriest in thy breast any ill-will and malice against any one, it is an argument that thou thyself art not forgiven of God.
1 St. Matt. xviii. 35. 3 Ibid.
Never say any thing in a man's absence or presence which may displease him, unless there be a good reason for so doing; why shouldst thou needlessly make thyself enemies?
Be assured that, however rich, great, or powerful,
2 Ganganelli (Letters, i. 111.).
4 The Pirate.
a man may be, it is the height of folly to make personal enemies from any, but particularly from personal, motives.'
Nothing tends more to induce a favourable impression of one towards another, than to find that such person has complimented or spoke handsomely of us behind our backs. The king of Prussia was ever partial to Lord Chesterfield, after he heard that he had called him "l'homme de Prusse."
Do wrong to none be able for thine enemy
- trust a few
Never forsake a friend.
Strive to do justice to every one; fear no one." Nil temere nec timere.
Scorn to trample upon a worm, or sneak to an
Whoever is well-inspired will choose liberality for his favourite virtue, since it renders men happy.
By mildness and munificence man may make a conquest of the world.
Be a prince in the regions of affability and generosity.
Un bienfait perd sa grace à la trop publier,
Qui veut qu'on s'en souvient, il le doit oublier.1
2 All's Well that Ends Well.
1 Lyttelton's Letters, 124. 3 Saadi (Pond Nameh, or Book of Proverbs). Monthly Review, vol. xcix.
4 Corneille (Théodore).
If a man cease to forgive his brother, because he has forgiven him often already; if he excuse himself from forgiving this man, because he has forgiven several others; such an one breaks the law of Christ concerning the forgiving of one's brother.
Now the rule of forgiving is also the rule of giving; you are not to give or do good to seven, but to seventy times seven. You are not to cease from giving, because you have given often to the same person or to other persons; but must look upon yourself as much obliged to continue relieving those that continue in want, as you were obliged to relieve them once or twice.
As sure, therefore, as these works of charity are necessary to salvation, so sure is it that we are to do them to the utmost of our power; not to-day or to-morrow, but through the whole course of our life.'
Our forgiveness and mercy to others are made the very rule and proportion of our confidence and hope, and our prayer to be forgiven ourselves.2
Charity is one of the wings of prayer, by which it flies to the throne of grace.
"Give alms of such things as you have," says our Saviour.
"He hath dispersed and given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever."
He who gives most, in proportion to his circum
1 Law's Serious Call, 63. 65. 3 Psalm cxii. 9.
2 Jer. Taylor, iv. 241.