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goods of the mind; the other towards those of fortune. The former, which is adopted only by the few, engages us chiefly in forming our principles, regulating our dispositions, improving all our inward powers. The latter, which in every age has been followed by the multitude, points at no other end but attaining the conveniencies and pleasures of external life. It is obvious, that, in this last pursuit, the vanity of the world will encounter us at every step. For this is the region in which it reigns, and where it chiefly displays its power. At the same time, to lay the world totally out of view, is a vain attempt. The numberless ties by which we are connected with external things, put it out of our power to behold them with indifference. But though we cannot wrap ourselves up entirely in the care of the mind, yet the more we make its welfare our chief object, the nearer shall we approach to that happy independence on the world, which places us beyond the reach of suffering from its vanity.
That discipline, therefore, which corrects the eagerness of worldly passions, which fortifies the heart with virtuous principles, which enlightens the mind with useful knowledge, and furnishes to it matter of enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real feli
city, than all the provision which we can make of the goods of fortune. To this let us bend our chief attention. Let us keep the heart with all diligence, seeing out of it are the issues of life. Let us account our mind the most important province which is committed to our care; and if we cannot rule fortune, study at least to rule ourselves. Let us propose for our object, not worldly success, which it depends not on us to obtain ; but that
upright and honourable discharge of our duty, in every conjuncture, which, through the divine assistance, is always within our power. Let our happiness be sought where our proper praise is found ; and that be accounted our only real evil, which is the evil of our nature; not that which is either the appointment of Providence, or which arises from the evil of others.
But, in order to carry on with success this rational and manly plan of conduct, it is necessary, in the last place, that to moral we join religious discipline. Under the present imperfection of our minds, and amidst the frequent shocks which we receive from human evils, much do we stand in need of every assistance for supporting our constancy. Of all assistance to which we can have recourse, none is so powerful as what may be derived from the principles of the Christian faith. He who builds on any other foundation, will find, in the day of trial, that he had built his house on the sand. Man is formed by his nature to look up to a superior being, and to lean upon a strength that is greater than his own. All the considerations which we can offer, for confirming his mind, presuppose this resource, and derive from it their principal efficacy
Never, then, let us lose sight of those great objects which religion brings under our view, if we hope to stand firm and erect amidst the dangers and distresses of our present state. Let us cultivate all that connection with the great Father of Spirits which our condition admits ; by piety and prayer; by dependence on his aid, and trust in his promises ; by a devout sense of his presence, and a "continual endeavour to acquire his grace and favour. Let us, with humble faith and reverence, commit ourselves to the blessed Redeemer of the world; encouraged by the discoveries which he has made to us of the divine
and by the hopes which he has afforded us of being raised to a nobler and happier station in the kingdom of God. So shall virtue, grounded upon piety, attain its full strength. In
spired with a religious spirit, and guided by rational principles, we shall be enabled to hold a steady course through this mixed region of pleasure and pain, of hopes and fears ; until the period arrive when that cloud which the present vanity of the world throws over hun man affairs, shall entirely disappear, and eternal light be diffused over all the works and ways of God.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Tuis Psalm exhibits the pleasing picture of a pious man rejoicing in the goodness of Heaven. He looks around him on his state, and his heart overflows with gratitude. When he reviews the past part of his life, he contemplates God as his shepherd, who hath made him lie down in green pastures, and led him beside the still waters. When he considers the present, he beholds his divine benefactor preparing a table for him in the presence of his enemies, and