« VorigeDoorgaan »
Opinion is the main thing which does good or harm in the world. It is our false opinions of things which ruin us.
It is the common custom of the world to follow example rather than precept; but it would be the safer course to learn by precept, rather than example.
Examples do not authorize a fault.-Vice must never plead prescription.
Much of the pain and pleasure of mankind, arises from the conjectures which every one makes of the thoughts of others. We all enjoy praise which we do not hear, and resent contempt which we do not see.
We should follow the customs of the world in matters indifferent; but stop when they be come sinful.
TEMPERANCE, PRUDENCE AND
THE richest endowments of the mind are
temperance, prudence and fortitude. Prudence is a universal virtue, which enters into the composition of all the rest; and where that is not, fortitude loses its name and nature..
It is nothing for a man to hold up his head in a calm; but to maintain his post when others have quitted their ground, and there stand upright where others have fallen, this is divine and praise-worthy.
Self-denial is the most exalted pleasure; and the conquest of evil habits is the most glo rious triumph.
A warm heart requires a cool head, courage without conduct is like fancy without judgment: all sail and no ballast.
Judgment is the throne of prudence, and silence is its sanctuary.
He who loses wealth, foses much; he who loses a friend, loses more; but he that loses his spirits, loses all.
A wise man stands firm in all extremities, and bears the lot of his humanity with a divine temper..
The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it; skilful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.
As fortitude suffers not the mind to be de-. jected with any evils; so temperance suffers it not to be drawn from honesty by any allure.
He that lives according to reason shall never be poor, and he that governs his life by opinion shall never be rich: for nature is limited but fancy is boundless.
It is the office of temperance to over-rule us in our pleasures; some she qualifies; some she rejects, and keeps the rest within bounds.
The true way to advance another's virtue, is to follow it; and the best means to cry down another's vice, is to decline it.
What can be more honourable than to have courage enough to execute the commands of reason and conscience; to maintain the dig. nity of our nature, and the station assigned us; to be proof against poverty, pain, and death itself; so far as not to do any thing that is scandalous or sinful to avoid them; to stand adversity under all shapes with decency and resolution? To do this is to be great above title and fortune. This argues the soul of a
heavenly extraction, and is worthy the offspring of the Deity.
A man of virtue is a honour to his country, a glory to humanity, and satisfaction to himself, and a benefactor to the whole world: he is rich without oppression, or dishonesty, charitable without ostentation, courteous without deceit, and brave without vice.
Economy is the fountain of liberality, and the parent of independance.
Let our superfluities bless the needy, our example encourage morality; and while we despise not the elegancies of life, let us remain untainted by its luxuries.
Philosophy may teach us to talk of fortitude, but religion empowers us to practice it.
To tell our secrets to all, is folly; but to communicate those with which we are entrust