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FALSE AND TRUE PLEASURE.
Nothing is more certain in reason and experience, than that every inordinate appetite and affection is a punishment to itself; and is perpetually crossing its own pleasure, and defeating its own satisfaction, by overshooting the mark it aims at. For instance, intemperance in eating and drinking, instead of delighting and satisfying nature, doth but load and clog it; and instead of quenching a natural thirst, which it is extremely pleasant to do creates an unnatural one, which is troublesome and endless. The pleasure of revenge, as soon as it is executed, turns into grief and pity, guilt and remorse, and a thousand melancholy wishes that we had restrained ourselves from so unreasonable an act. And the same is as evident in other sensual excesses, not so fit to be described. We may trust Epicurus, for this, that there can be no true pleasure without temperance in the use of pleasure. And God and reason hath set us no other bounds concerning the use of sensual pleasures, but that we take care not to be injurious to ourselves, or others, in the kind or degree of them. And it is very visible, that all sensual excess is naturally attended with a double inconvenience: as it goes beyond the limits of nature, it begets bodily pains and diseases: as it transgresseth the rules of reason and religion, it breeds guilt and remorse in the mind. And these are, beyond comparison, the two greatest evils in this world; a diseased body, and a discontented mind; and in this I am sure I speak to the inward feeling and experience of men; and say nothing but what every vicious man finds, and hath a more lively sense of, than is to be expressed by words.
When all is done, there is no pleasure comparable to that of innocency, and freedom from the stings of a guilty conscience; this is a pure and spiritual pleasure, much above any sensual delight. And yet among all the delights of sense, that of health (which is th/s natural consequent of a sober, and chaste, and regular life) is a sensual pleasure far beyond that of any vice. For it is the life of life, and that which gives a grateful relish to all our other enjoyments. It is not indeed so violent and transporting a pleasure, but it is pure, and even, and lasting, and hath no guilt or regret, no sorrow and trouble in it, or after it: which is a worm that infallibly breeds in all vicious and unlawful pleasures, and makes them to be bitterness in the end.
EVIDENCE OF A CREATOR IN THE STRUCTURE OF THE WORLD.
How often might a man, after he had jumbled a set of letters in a bag, fling them out upon the ground before they would fall into
lovrards strength or sublimity. But notwithstanding these defects, such a constant vein of piety f.ud good sense runs through his works, such an earnest and serious manner, and so much useful !n»truction conveyed tn a style so pure, natural, and nnadected, as will justly rommend him to high r< #,rd."—Blnr'i Lertur* 9* Rh'torif and Belief Leltrr*, Lect. xtx.
an exact poem, yea, or so much as make a good discourse in prose! And may not a little book be as easily made by chance, as this great volume of the world! How long might a man be in sprinkling colors upon a canvas with a careless hand, before they could happen to make the exact picture of a man 1 And is a man easier made by chance than this picture? How long might twenty thousand blind men, which should be sent out from the several remote parts of England, wander up and down before they would all meet upon Salisbury Plains, and fall into rank and file in the exact order of an army? And yet this is much more easy to be imagined, than how the innumerable blind parts of matter should rendezvous themselves into a world.
Such ways of education as are prudently fitted to the particular disposition of children, are like wind and tide together, which will make the work go on amain: but those ways which are applied cross to nature are like wind against tide, which will make a stir and conflict, but a very slow progress.
The principles of religion and virtue must be instilled and dropped into them by such degrees, and in such a measure, as they are capable of receiving them: for children are narrowmouthed vessels, and a great deal cannot be poured into them at once.
Young years are tender, and easily wrought upon, apt to be moulded into any fashion : they are like moist and soft clay, which is pliable to any form; but soon grows hard, and then nothing is to be made of it.
Great severities do often work an effect -pite contrary to that which was intended; and many times those who were bred up in a very severe school, hate learning ever after for the sake of the cruelty that was used to force it upon them. So, likewise, an endeavor to bring children to piety and goodness by unreasonable strictness and rigor, docs often beget in them a lasting disgust and prejudice against religion, and teacheth them to hate virtue, at the same time that they teach them to know it.
FORMATION OF A YOUTHFUL MIND.
Men glory in raising great and magnificent structures, and find a secret pleasure to see sets of their own planting grow up and
i "A.ast how many examples arc now presents to oar memory, of young persons the most anxiously and expensively be-schoolmastcrcd, be-tutored, be-lectured, any tnlng hut Bducatbd; who liave received arms and ammunition. Instead of (.kill, strength, and courage; varnished rather than polished; perilously over-civilized, and most pitiably uncultivated! And all from inattention ta the method dictated by nature herself,—to the simple truth, tliaf, as the forms In all organized existence, so must all true and living knowledge proceed raoM Witmk; that it may be trained, supported, fed, excited. but can never be infused or Impressed."— Cotrritlge, " friead," ili. 224.
flourish ; but it is a greater and more glorious work to build up a man; '.o see a youth of our own planting, from the small beginnings #and advantages we have given him, to grow up into a considerable fortune, to take root in the world, and to shoot up into such a height, and spread his branches so wide, that we who first planted him may ourselves find comfort and shelter under his shadow.
How easily are men checked and diverted from a good cause by the temptations and advantages of this world! How many are cold in their zeal for religion, by the favor and friendship of the world! and as their goods and estates have grown greater, their devotion hath grown less. How apt are they to be terrified at the apprehension of danger and sufferings, and by their fearful imaginations to make them greater than they are, and with the people of Israel to be disheartened from all future attempts of entering into the land of promise, because it is full of giants and the sons of Anak! How easily was Peter frightened into the denial of his Master! And when our Saviour was apprehended, how did his disciples forsake him and fly from him! and though they were constant afterwards to the death, yet it was a great while before they were perfectly armed and steeled against the fear of suffering.
HENRY VAUGHAN. 1621—1695.
Hexbt Yatjohatt, tho "Silurest," as he called himself, from that part of Wales whose inhabitants were the ancient Silures, was born on the banks of the Usk, in Brecknockshire, in 1C21, and in 1638, at the age of seventeen, entered Oxford. He was designed for the profession of the law, but retiring to his home at the commencement of the civil wars, he became eminent in the practice of physic, and was esteemed by scholars, says Wood, "an inge nious person, but proud and humorous." He died in 1695.
Yaughan's first publication was entitled "Olor Iscanus,' a Collection of some Select Poems and Translations." In his latter days he became very serious, having met with the works " of that blessed man, Mr. George Herbert." He then published his " Silcx Scintillans,2 or Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations." Of the poems of this author, Mr. Campbell speaks rather too severely, ■when he calls them tho production of "one of the harshest even of the inferior order of the school of conceit." True, he is very often dull and obscme, nnd spends his strength on frigid and bombastic conceits; but occasionally, ami especially in his sacred poems, he exhibits considerable originality and picturesque grace, and breathes forth a high strain of morality and piety. Hi* best piece. I think, is the following upon
1 That It, "Thelacan Swan," the adjective "Iacanua" belns formed from Uea, Ltie Latin name of his favorite river Vak.
2 "The Spark-emitting Flint." Read, an article on Vmu'haii'a j-oetry In the Retrosnect.ve Review, EARLY RISING AND PRAYER.
When first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave
To do the like; our bodies but forerun
Unto their God, as flowers do to the sun:
Yet never sleep the sun up; prayer should
'Twixt heaven and us; the manna was not good
Rise to prevent the sun; sleep doth sins glut,
And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut
, Walk with thy fellow-creatures; note the hush
And whisperings amongst them. Not a spring
And oak doth know 1 Ak. Canst thou not sing 1
Serve God before the world; let him not go
Until thou hast a blessing; then resign
Prevail'd by wrestling ere die sun did shine;
Mornings are mysteries; the first, world's youth,
Man's resurrection, and the future's bud,
Is styled their star; the stone and hidden food:
When the world's up, and every swarm abroad,
Despatch necessities; life hath a load
Which must be carried on, and safely may;
Yet keep those cares without Uiee; let the heart
Be God's alone, and choose the better part.
Vaughan's prose writings are more easy and natural than his poetry, as will be seen by the following beautiful piece upon
THE PLEASURES OF THE COUNTRY.
This privilege also, above others, makes the countryman happy, • hat he hath always something at hand which is both useful and pleasant; a blessing which has never been granted, either to a courtier or a citizen: they have enemies enough, but few friends that deserve their love, or that they dare trust to, either for counsel or action. O who can ever fully express the pleasures and happiness of the cuuntry-life; with the various and delightful sports of fishing, hunting, and fowling, with guns, gieyhounds, spaniels, and several sorts of nets! What oblectation and refreshment it is to behold the green shades, the beauty and majesty of the tall and ancient groves; to be skilled in planting and dressing of orchards, flowers, and pot-herbs; to temper and allay these harmless employments with some innocent, merry song; to ascend sometimes to the fresh and healthful hills; to descend into the bosom of the valleys, and the fragrant, dewy meadows; to hear the music of birds, the murmurs of bees, the falling of springs, and the pleasant discourses of the old ploughmen. These are the blessings which only a countryman is ordained to, and are in vain wished for by citizens and courtiers.
The following remarks upon the guilt of writing or publishing books of an immoral tendency, it would be well for a large number of publishers carefully to read, and seriously to ponder. Would that they might be governed by such excellent sentiments, rather than, as they too often seem to be, by the mere consideration of profit or loss. *
RESPONSIBILITY OF EDITORS AND PUBLISHERS.
If every idle word shall be accounted for, and if one corrupt communication should proceed out of our mouths, how desperate (I beseech you) is their condition, who all their lifetime, and out of mere design, study lascivious fictions; then carefully record and publish them, that instead of grace and life, they may minister sin and death unto their readers! It was wisely considered, and piously said by one, that he would read no idle books; both in regard of love to his own soul, and pity unto his that made them, for (said he) if I be corrupted by them, their composer is immediately a cause of my ill, and at the day of reckoning (though now dead) must give an account for it, because I am corrupted by his bad example which he left behind him. I will write none, lest I hurt them that come after me; I will read none, lest I augment his punishment that is gone before me. I will neither write nor read, lest I prove a foe to my own soul: while I live, I sin too much; let me not continue longer in wickedness than I do in life. It is a sentence of sacred authority, that he that is dead, is freed from sin, because he cannot, in that state, which is without the body, sin any more; but he that writes idle books, makes for himselfanother body, in which he always lives, and sins (after death) as fast and as foul as ever he did in his life; which very consideration deserves to be a sufficient antidote against thin evil disease.