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thy heart accuse me of injustice, and thou past, went to him, and taking him by the
, as those which weariness invited; thou wouldit not have regretted that less and no time to well enjoyed, as that in was not offered. The content which was which diligence is expecting its reward. once enjoyed, was but the lethargy of foul; I remembered these enjoyments with re- and the distress which is now suffered, will gret; and while I was fighing in the midst but quicken it to action. Depart, thereof fuperfluities, which though they en- fore, and be thankfal for all things; put cumbered life, yet I could not give up, thy trust in Him, who alone can gratify they were suddenly taken away:
the wish of reason, and satisfy thy soul with Alma'ic
, in the midst of the glory of good; fix thy hope upon that portion, in his kingdom, and in the full vigour of his comparison of which the world is as the life
, expired suddenly in the bath: such drop of the bucket, and the dust of the bathou knowest was the destiny which the lance. Return, my son, to thy labour; thy Almighty had written upon his head. food shall be again tasteful, and thy reft
His son Aububekir, who succeeded to shall be sweet; to thy content also will be
. O! that $ 109. Bad company-meaning of the phrase for me this lesson had not been written on
- different classes of bad companyil the tablets of Providence! I have tra
chojen company what is meant by keeping velled from Medina to Mecca; but I can
bad company—the danger of it, from our not fly from myself. How different are
aptness to imitate and catch the manners of the ftates in which I have been placed !
others---from the great power and force of The remembrance of both is bitter! for
custom-from our bad inclinations. the pleasures of neither can return.-Haf
« Evil communication," says the text, fan having thus ended his story, smote his “ corrupts good manners." The asserhands together; and looking upward, tion is general, and no doubt all people
suffer from such communication; but above Omar, having waited till this agony was all, the minds of youth will suffer; which
burit into tears.
are yet unformed, unprincipled, unfur. It is true, if we were determined never nished; and ready to receive any impres- to have any commerce with bad men, we fion.
must, as the apottle remarks, “ altogether But before we consider the danger of go out of the world.” By keeping bad keeping bad company, let us firit ice the company, therefore, is not meant a casual meaning of the phrase.
intercourse with them, on occasion of buIn the phrase of the world, good com- finess, or as they accidentally fall in our pany means fashionable people. Their way; but having an inclination to consort itations in life, not their morals, are con- with them—complying with that inclinafidered : and he, who affociates with such, tion-seeking their company, when we though they set him the example of break- might avoid it-entering into their parties ing every commandment of the decalogue, and making them the companions of our is still faid to keep good company. I choice. Mixing with them occasionally, 1hould with you to fix another meaning to cannot be avoided. the expresion; and to consider vice in the The danger of keeping bad company, fame detestable light, in whatever com- arises principally from our aptness to imipany it is found; nay, to conuder all com- tate and catch the manners and sentiments pany in which it is found, be their station of others—from the power of cuitomwhat it will, as bad company.
from our own bad inclinations—and from The three following claffes will perhaps the pains taken by the bad to corrupt us*, include the greatest part of those, who In our earliest youth, the contagion of deserve this appeilation.
manners is observable. In the boy, yet In the first, I thould rank all who endea- incapable of having any thing instilled into vour to destroy the principles of Chrif- him, we easily discover from his firit actianity -- who jest upon Scripture--talk tions, and rude attempts at language, the blafphemy—and treat revelation with con- kind of persons with whom he has been tempt.
brought up: we see the early spring of a A second class of bad company are those, civilized education, or the first wild shoots who have a tendency to deltroy in us the of rufticity. principles of common honesty and inte- As he enters farther into life, his begrily. Under this head we may rank haviour, manners, and conversation, all gamesters of every denomination; and the take their cait from the company he keeps. low and infamous characters of every pro- Observe the peasant, and the man of edufeflion.
cation; the difference is striking. And A third class of bad company, and such yet God hath beitowed equal talents on as are commonly moit dangerous to youth, each. The only difference is, they have includes the long catalogue of men of been thrown into different scenes of life; pleasure. In whatever way they follow and have had commerce with persons of the call of appetite, they have equally a different stations. tendency to corrupt the purity of the Nor are manners and behaviour more mind.
easily caught, than opinions, and prinBesides these three classes, whom we ciples. In childhood and youth, we namay call bad company, there are others turally adopt the fentiments of those about who come under the denomination of ill- us. And as we advance in life, how few chosen company: trifling, insipid charac- of us think for ourselves? How many of ters of every kind; who follow no businefs us are satisfied with taking our opinions at
are led by no ideas of improvement- second hand but spend their time in diffipation and folly The great power and force of custom --whose highest praise it is that they are forms another argument against keeping only not vicious. -With none of these, a bad company. However seriously ditserious man would with his son to keep posed we may be ; and however thocked company.
at the first approaches of vice; this thockIt may be asked what is meant by keep- ing appearance goes off, upon an intimacy ing bad company? The world abounds wiih it. Cuitom will soon render the moit with characters of this kind : they meet us dii guitful thing familiar. And this is inin every place; and if we keep company deed a kind provision of nature, to render at all, it is imposible to avoid keeping labour, and toil, and danger, which are the company with such persons.
lot of man, more easy to him. The raw * See this subjeet treated more at large in an anonymous pamphlet, on the employment of time.
foldier, who trembles at the first encounter, company equal to the disadvantages of bad becomes a hardy veteran in a few cam- -cautions in forming intimacies. paigns. Habit renders danger familiar, and of course indifferent to him.
These arguments against keeping bad But habit, which is intended for our company, will ftill receive additional good, may, like other kind appointments ftrength, if we confider farther, the great of nature, be converted into a mischief. pains taken by the bad to corrupt others. The well-disposed youth, entering first into It is a very true, but lamentable fact, in bad company, is shocked at what he hears, the history of human nature, that bad men and what he sees. The good principles, take more pains to corrupt their own spewhich he had imbibed, ring in his ears ancies, than virtuous men do to reform them. alarming lesson against the wickedness of Hence those fpecious arts, that show of his companions. But, alas ! this sensibi- friendship, that appearance of disinterestlicy is but of a day's continuance. The edness, with which the profligate seducer Dext jovial meeting makes the horrid pic- endeavours to lure the unwary youth; and ture of yesterday more easily endured. at the same time, yielding to his inclinaVirtue is foon thought a severe rule; the tions, seems to follow rather than to lead gospel, an inconvenient restraint: a few him. Many are the arts of these corruppangs of conscience now and then interrupt 'ters; but their principal art is ridicule. By his pleasures; and whisper to him, that he this they endeavour to laugh out of counonce had better thoughis: but even these tenance all the better principles of their by degrees die away; and he who at fir!t wavering profelyte; and make him think was inocked even at the appearance of contemptibly of those, whom he formerly rice, is formed by custom into a profigate respected; by this they ftiile the ingenuous leader of vicious pleasures-perhaps into bluth, and finally destroy all sense of thame. an abandoned tempter to vice. So care
Their cause is below argument. They fully hould we oppose the first approaches aim not therefore at roatoning. Raillery oi fin! fo vigilant should we be againit so is the weapon they employ; and who is insidious an enemy !
there, that hath the steadincis to hear perOur own bad inclinations form another sons and things, whatever reverence he argument against bad company. We have may have had for them, the subject of to many pallions and appetites to govern; continual ridicule, without losing that revefo many bad propenfities of different kinds sence by degrees ? to watch, that, amidit such a variety of Having thus considered what principally eremies within, we ought at least to be on makes bad company dangerous, I fall juit our guard against those without. The breait add, that even were your morals in no even of a good man is represented in scrip- danger from such intercourse, your chatare, and experienced in fact, to be in a raciers would infallibly fuffer. The word kate of warfare. His vicious inclinations will always judge of you by your compaare continually drawing him one way; nions: and nobody will suppose, thai a wbile his virtue is making efforts another. youth of virtuous principles himself, can And if the scriptures represent this as the possibly form a connection with a procale even of a good man, whose passions, it fligate. may be imagined, are become in fome de- In reply to the danger supposed to arife gre cool, and temperate, and who has from bad company, perhaps the youth may made fome progress in a virtuous course; say, he is so firm in his own opinions, lo that may we suppose to be the danger of steady in his principles, that he thinks him2 raw unexperienced youth, whose passions felf secure; and need not restrain himielf and appetites are violent and seducing, and from the most unreserved convertat.on. shole mind is in a ftill less confirmed itate? Alas! this security is the very brink of It is his part surely to keep out of the way the precipice: nor hath vice in her whole of temptation; and to give his bad incli- crain a more dangerous enemy to you, than sions as little room as possible to acquire presumption. Caution, ever awake to danLew Arengih.
Gilpin. ger, is a guard againit it. But fecurity
lays every guard alleep. " Let him who Ś 110. Ridicule one of the chief arts of cor- thinketh he standeth,
;; faith the apoitle, yutinbod company injures our charac- “ take heed, leit he fall.” Even an arosters, as well as manners--aprejumption the tle himself did fall, by thinking that he forerunner of ruin — be advantages of good stood tecure. “ Though I thouid die with
thee,” said St. Peter to his master, “yet you ought to be, reserved in offering it. will I not deny thee.” That very night, Chuse your companions, not merely for notwithstanding this boafted security, he the lake of a few outward accomplishments repeated the crime three several times. --for the idle pleasure of spending an And can we suppose, that prefump.ion, agreeable hour; but mark their disposition which occasioned an apostle's fall, shall not to virtue or vice; and, as much as possible, Tuin un unexperienced youth? The story chuse those for your companions, whom is recorded for our instruction; and should you see others respect : always rememberbe a ftanding leffon againit prefuming upon ing, that upon the choice of your company our own strength.
depends in a great measure the success of In conclusion, such as the dangers are, all you have learned ; the hopes of your which arise from bad company, such are friends; your future characters in life; and, the advantages, which accrue from good. what you ought above all other things to We imitate, and catch the manners and value, the purity of your hearts. sentiments of good men, as we do of bad.
Gilpin. Cuitom, which renders vice less a deformity, renders virtue more lovely. Good $ 111. Religion the best and only Supporti in examples have a force beyond instruction,
Cajes of real Strejs. and warm us into emulation beyond pre- There are no principles but those of re, cept; while the countenance and conversa- ligion to be depended on in cases of real tion of virtuous men encourage, and draw stress; and theie are able to encounter the out into action every kindred disposition of worst emergencies; and to bear us up unour hearts.
der all the changes and chances to which Besides, as a sense of shame often pre- our life is subject. vents our doing a right thing in bad com- Consider then what virtue the very first
, pany; it operates in the same way in pre- principle of religion has, and how wonder: venting our doing 'a wrong one in good. fully it is conducive to this end : That there Our character becomes a pledge; and we is a God, a powerful, a wise and good Becannot, without a kind of dishonour, draw ing, who first made the world, and continues back.
to govern it ;-by whose goodness all things It is not possible, indeed, for a youth, yet are designed--and by whose providence all unfurnished with knowledge (which fits him things are conducted to bring about the for good company) to chule his compa- greatest and best ends. The sorrowful and nions as he pleases. A youth must have penfive wretch that was giving way to his something peculiarly attractive, to qualify misfortunes, and mournfully finking under him for the acquaintance of men of efta- them, the moment this doctrine comes in blished reputation. What he has to do, is, to his aid, hushes all his complaints and at all events, to avoid bad company; and thus fpeaks comfort to his soul,—" It is to endeavour, by improving his mind and the Lord, let him do what seeineth him morals, to qualify himself for the best. good.--Without his direction, I know that
Happy is that youth, who, upon his en- no evil can befal me vithout his permiftrance into the world, can chuse his com- fion, that no power can hurt me;-it is pany with discretion. There is often in impoflible a Being so wise should mistake vice, a gaiety, an unreserve, a freedom of my happiness-or that a Being so good manners, which are apt at fight to engage should contradict it. If he has denied me the unwary: while virtue, on the other riches or other advantages -- perhaps he hand, is often modest, reserved, diffident, foresees the gratifying my wishes would backward, and easily disconcerted. That undo me, and by my own abuse of them freedom of manners, however engaging, be perverted to my ruin.--If he has de. may cover a very corrupt heart: and this nied me the request of children-or in his aukwardness, however unpleasing, may providence has thought fit to take them veil a thousand virtues. Suffer not your from me how can I say whether he has mind, therefore, to be ea fily either engaged, not dealt kindly with me, and only taken or disgusted at first light. Form your in- that away which he foresaw would embitter timacies with reserve : and if drawn una- and shorten my days ?-It does so to thouwares into an acquaintance you disapprove, fands, where the disobedience of a thankimmediately retreat. Open not your hearts less child has brought down the parents to every profession of friendship. They, grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. Has whose friendship is worth accepting, are, as he vifited me with fickness, poverty, or other disappointments ?--can I say, but is of that price, that it cannot be had at these are bleffings in disguise :-- !o many too great a purchafe; fince without it, the different expresions of his care and con- best condition of life cannot make us hapcern to difentangle my thoughts from this py; and with it, it is impoffible we should world, and fix them upon another-ano- be mnilerable even in the worit. ther, a better world beyond this!”- This
Sterne's Sermons. thought opens a new face of hope and confolation to the unfortunate:mand as the § 112. Ridicule dangerous to Mlorality and ferijalion of a Providence reconciles him
Religion. to the evils he has suffered,--this prospect The unbounded freedom and licentiousof a future life gives him ftrength to de- ness of raillery and ridicule, is become of spite them, and esteem the light atlicțions of late years so fashionable among us, and hath this life, as they are, not worthy to be com- already been attended with such fatal and pared to what is reserved for him here- destructive consequences, as to give a reaarter.
fonable alarm to all friends of virtue. Things are great or small by compa- Writers have rose up within this last cenrisca and he who looks no further than tury, who have endeavoured to blend and this world, and balances the accounts of confound the colours of good and evil, to his joys and fufferings from that conside. laugh us out of our religion, and undermine ration, finds all his sorrows erlarged, and the very foundations of morality, The at the close of them will be apt to look character' of the Scoffer hath, by an un. back, and cast the same sad reflection upon accountable favour and indulgence, met the whole, which the Patriarch did to Pha- not only with pardon, but approbation, and roah, “ That few and evil had been the hath therefore been almost universally days of his pilgrimage.” But let him lift sought after and admired. Ridicule hath up his eyes to ards heaven, and stedfastly been called (and this for no other reason behold the life and immortality of a future but because Lord Shaftesbury told us so) ftate,-be then wipes away all tears from the test of truth, and, as such, has been apof his eyes for ever; like the exiled cap- plied indiscriminately to every subject. tive, big with the hopes that he is return- But in opposition to all the puny fol- , ing hone, he feels not the weight of his lowers of Shaftesbury and Bolingbroke, chaigs, or counts the days of his captivity; all the laughing moralists of the last age, but looks forward with rapture towards the and all the sneering satyrists of this, I Mall country where his heart is fled before. not scruple to declare, that I look on ridi
These are the aids which religion offers cule as an oppreslive and arbitrary tyrant, 23 towards the regulation of our fpirit under who like death throws down all diftinéiion; the evils of life-but like great cordials, blind to the charms of virtue, and deaf to they are seldom used but on great occur- the complaints of truth; a bloody Moloch, rences. In the lesser evils of life, we seem who delights in human sacrifice; who loves to stand unguarded—and our peace and to feed on the Aeth of the poor, and to contentment are overthrown, and our hap- drink the tear of the afflicted; who doupiness broke in upon, by a little impatience bles the weight of poverty by scorn and of spirit, under the cross and outward acci- laughter, and throws the poison of condents we meet with. These stand unpro- tempt into the cup of distress to embirter vided for, and we neglect them as we do the draught. the flighter indispositions of the body- Truth, say the Shaftesburians, cannot which we think not worth treating serioully, posibly be an object of ridicule, and therand fo leave them to nature. In good ha- fore cannot suffer by it:-to which the bits of the body, this may do,--and I answer is extremely obvious: Truth, naked, would gladly believe, there are such good undisguised, cannot, we will acknowledge habits of the temper, such a complexional with them, be ridiculed; but Truth, like case and health of heart, as may often fave every thing else, may be misreprefented: the patient much medicine. We are still it is the business of ridicule therefore to to confider, that however such good frames disguise her; to dress her up in a strange of mind arę got, they are worth preserving and fantastic habit; and when this is art. by all rules : --Patience and contentment --- fully performed, it is no wonder that the which like the treasure hid in the field for crowd should smile at her deformity. which a man fold all he had to purchase The noblest philosopher and the best