« ZurückWeiter »
maintaining himself as a clerk in a warehouse, and yet busying himself for these poor people.'
Consider not what might have been done, but what is now to be done.
Do thou but do thy best, and then thou mayst defy the devil to do his worst.
Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou wilt sell what thou canst not be well without.
Thou must pardon a thousand small faults and failings in thy friends, if thou wouldst live well with them.
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities.2
Use thyself to rise and go to bed early; this will contribute very much towards rendering thy life long, useful, and happy.
It is an uncontrolled truth, that no man ever made an ill figure who understood his own talents, nor a good one who mistook them.3
The reputation (if there be any) of having been acquainted with princes and other great persons arises from its being generally known to others, but never once mentioned by ourselves, if it can possibly be avoided.*
That scorn of fools, by fools mistook for pride.5
No one can pay a more servile tribute to the great, than by suffering his liberty in their presence to aggrandise him in his own esteem."
1 Wilberforce (Life).
2 Julius Cæsar.
If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keeps his at the same time.'
Take good heed,
Nor there be modest, where thou shouldst be proud.2
I was not much afraid; for, once or twice,
Resolution, on reflection, is real courage.3
Be not so frugal of thy time as to lavish away thy health.
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue
For never any thing can be amiss
How do men forget that sport should be sport, not work; to divert and relax us, not to employ and busy us; to take off our minds a little, not wholly to take them up; not to exhaust nor tire our spirits, but to refresh and cheer them, that they may become more fresh and vigorous."
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
3 Horace Walpole.
5 Midsummer Night's Dream.
4 Comedy of Errors.
6 Barrow (Sermons).
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Costly thy habit, as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Make not a malignant construction of words and actions of others, nor turn them to the prejudice of any one. They might proceed from thoughtlessness, and should be no more remembered. Every man has his failings, which we are to suffer and excuse, if we would live peaceably in the world.
When thou art delivered from afflictions, in a special manner recollect and call to mind those errors, failings, and sins that did most disquiet thee in thy time of adversity, and be most severe against them.
Repentance, which ought to be the change of the whole man, and, in some sense, the work of the
whole life, is very improperly begun when men are about finishing that course which it should have guided them in.1
We can scarcely be too careful and diligent in fitting ourselves for the acting of a part well, that we can never act but once: if we die ill once, we shall never be allowed to die again, to see if we could die better the second time than we did the first.
Death will sooner or later infallibly come, and never finally deceive our expectations; and, therefore, the forethoughts of it are an employment which may prove, we know not how soon, of use and of excellent advantage, the frequent meditation of the end of our lives conducing so much to make us lead them well."
Consider that of all time the present is ever the best for the purpose of amending our life. It is the only sure time, that which we have in our hands, and may call our own; whereas the time past is irrevocably gone from us, and the future never may
come to us.3
There are sins of omission as well as of commission, and we are bound to attack and eradicate, if we can, systems and practices which strike at the root of the happiness of our fellow-creatures.
It can scarce be doubted but that every act of virtue is our greatest wisdom, even in respect of this world; every act of vice our greatest folly.*
3 Barrow (Sermons).
4 Hartley (Obs.).
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thy own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.
Love the God that made thee with all thy strength.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.1
Stop thy ears with wise men's wax, and be deaf unto the suggestions of tale-bearers, calumniators, pickthank or malevolent delators, who, while quiet men sleep, sowing the tares of discord and division, distract the tranquillity of charity and all friendly society.2
Thy duty to God is fear and love; to thy neighbour, justice and charity; to thyself, self-prudence, proper self-esteem, and morality.
Be rather careful of what thou dost than of what thou hast; for what thou hast is none of thine, and will leave thee at thy death - but what thou dost is thine, and will follow thee to thy grave, and will plead for thee, or against thee, at the day of judgment.
At that day it will be what we have done for
2 Sir Thomas Browne (Christian Morals).