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Nor are the labours of moral know, ledge and virtuous discipline, less arduous, and extensive. To trace the faculties, operations, and tendencies of the mental powers; to mark their limits, subordinations, and uses; to investigate the reci-, procal influence of the mind and body upon each other; to root out the inveteracy of prejudice; to bend the will; to correct the temper; to subdue the passions; to keep the heart with all diligence; to' set a watch before the door of the lips: these are employments, which, if duly attended to, will leave no man either time to spare,' or any portion of those abilities, which he has received, to lie waste arid uncultivated,
Nor again will the duties of religion claim a less degree of exertion of our several talents. ■ Man, as a reasonable creature, when he considers the great purposes for which he was sent into the world, must see that he has enough to do, and therefore fore has need to do it with all his might. For religion is not the acquirement of a day, or the task of leisure: it requires the unremitting exercise and cultivation of every faculty. Who is there that sees not, that the duties we owe to God are of an active nature, and are not to be discharged with listless lips, and sluggish hearts, with cold insensibility or yawning indifference, but must be gone through with seriousness, attention, and fervour; our devotion must glow, our hearts must throb. Nor is this earnestness and attention less necessary in the duties we owe to ourselves and mankind. It will call for all our care to discharge aright the obligations of humanity, charity, justice, and fidelity. It will demand all our abilities to guard our words and actions, to tread with safety amidst the numerous enemies that surround us, to baffle the wiles of Satan; to resist the smiles of pleasure, to subdue the allurements of
youthful youthful lust, to shun the contagion of evil example. Nor is this all: there are also many heavenly graces to be acquired, many spiritual virtues to be practised, and many severe trials to be sustained* for, in the language of scripture, there is "a warfare of the soul;" there is " a fight ** of faith;" there is "a race of glory," which will require the Christian to summon every faculty to the discharge of its proper functions in life.
Has any man, again, received particular and supereminent talents from the hand of Providence? Is he raised above the ordinary level of humanity by superior abilities, wealth, dignity, or influence? Let him not vainly conceive, that no account is to be given of them to his Almighty Benefactor. No man is born for himself alone; his talents, whatever they are, were given to him for the good of others, as well as of himself: freely
he has received, and freely must he give; and from him, to whom much has been given, will much also he required
His abilities are lent him to improve men in knowledge or happiness, to discover the means of promoting their present conveniency by useful inventions, to explain the difficulties under which lower conceptions labour, to defend the cause of truth, and to promote the interests of virtue and religion in the world,
And in the same manner also he stands accountable for his riches, which are only a trust committed to his charge. There must be different ranks of men in life: the order of the world requires, and tha changes and chances of it will ever cause, that there should be low as well as high, poor as well as rich. It is therefore the duty of the rich man, as a good steward Of the gift of God, to obviate the neces-. sary inconveniences arising from this dif.
ference, ference, by feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, and by providing for the children of affliction, who, through the various casualties of a world of change, are unable to provide for themselves.
And it is no less the duty of every man, who possesses superior dignity, or influence, to exert them in supporting the weak and protecting the oppressed, in discouraging presumptuous villany and calling forth modest worth, and in leadr ing men on to goodness by the powerful attraction of shining example; which ought, above all things, to claim the attention of men in exalted stations, as being a matter of the utmost consequence to the world. For the man, who toils in the vale of obscurity, can do little harm or good by his example: whilst living, his frailties or excellencies are known only to a narrow circle; and when he dies, he falls unnoticed, and, soon is remembered np more, J^t the great are placed'on