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And then conceive it possible, and then reflect on it as done,
And use, by little and little, thyself to regard thyself a villain,
Not long will crime be absent from the voice that doth invoke him to thy
And bitterly wilt thou grieve, that the buds have ripened into poison.
A spark is a molecule of matter, yet may it kindle the world;
Vast is the mighty ocean, but drops have made it vast.
Despise not thou a small thing, either for evil or for good;
For a look may work thy ruin, or a word create thy wealth:
The walking this way or that, the casual stopping or hastening,
Hath saved life, and destroyed it, hath cast down and built up
Commit thy trifles unto God, for to him is nothing trivial;
And it is but the littleness of man that seeth no greatness in a trifle.
All things are infinite in parts, and the moral is as the material,
Neither is any thing vast, but it is compacted of atoms.
Thou art wise, and shalt find comfort, if thou study thy pleasure in
trifles, For slender joys, often repeated, fall as sunshine on the heart: Thou art wise, if thou beat off petty troubles, nor suffer their stinging to
fret thee; Thrust not thine hand among the thorns, but with a leathern glove. Regard nothing lightly which the wisdom of Providence hath ordered; And therefore consider all things that happen unto thee or unto others. The warrior that stood against a host, may be pierced unto death by a
needle; And the saint that feareth not the fire, may perish the victim of a thought, A mote in the gunner's eye is as bad as a spike in the gun; And the cable of a furlong is lost through an ill. wrought inch. The streams of small pleasures fill the lake of happiness: And the deepest wretchedness of life is continuance of petty pains. A fool observeth nothing, and seemeth wise unto himself; A wise man heedeth all things, and in his own eyes is a fool: He that wondereth at nothing hath no capabilities of bliss; But he that scrutinizeth trifles hath a store of pleasure to his hand. If pestilence stalk through the land, ye say, This is God's doing; Is it not also His doing, when an aphis creepeth on a rose-bud ?
If an avalanche roll from its Alp, ye tremble at the will of Providence;
Is not that will concerned when the sear leaves fall from the poplar?-
A thing is great or little only to a mortal's thinking,
But abstracted from the body, all things are alike important:
The Ancient of Days noteth in his book the idle converse of a creature,
And happy and wise is the man to whose thought existeth not a trifle.
To join advantage to amusement, to gather profit with pleasure,
Is the wise man's necessary aim, when he lieth in the shade of recreation
For he cannot fling aside his mind, nor bar up the floodgates of his wis-
Yea, though he strain after folly, his mental monitor shall check him:
For knowledge and ignorance alike have laws essential to their being,
The sage studieth amusements, and the simple laugheth in his studies.
Few, but full of understanding, are the books of the library of God,
And fitting for all seasons are the gain and the gladness they bestow :
The volume of mystery and Grace, for the hour of deep communings,
When the soul considereth intensely the startling marvel of itself:
The book of destiny and Providence for the time of sober study,
When the mind gleaneth wisdom from the olive grove of history:
And the cheerful pages of Nature, to gladden the pleasant holiday,
When the task of duty is complete, and the heart swelleth high with sat-
isfaction. The soul may not safely dwell too long with the deep things of futurity; The mind may not always be bent back, like the Parthian, straining at the
past: (16) And, if thou art wearied with wrestling on the broad arena of science, Leave awhile thy friendly foe, half vanquished in the dust, Refresh thy jaded limbs, return with vigour to the strife,Thou shalt easier find thyself his master, for the vacant interval of leisure.
That which may profit and amuse is gathered from the volume of crea
For every chapter therein teemeth with the playfulness of wisdom.
The elements of all things are the same, though nature hath mixed them
with a difference,
And Learning delighteth to discover the affinity of seeming opposites:
So out of great things and small draweth he the secrets of the universe,
And argueth the cycles of the stars, from a pebble flung by a child.
It is pleasant to note all plants, from the rush to the spreading cedar,
From the giant king of palms, (17) to the lichen that staineth jis stem:
To watch the workings of instinct, that grosser reason of brules,-
The river-horse browsing in the jungle, the plover screaming on the
moor, The cayman, basking on a mud-bank, and the walrus anchored to an ice
berg, The dog at his master's feet, and the milk-kine lowing in the meadow; To trace the consummate skill that hath modelled the anatomy of insects, Small fowls that sun their wings on the petals of wild flowers; To learn a use in the beetle, and more than a beauty in the butterfly; To recognize affection in a moth, and look with admiration on a spider. It is glorious to gaze uport the firmament, and see from far the mansions
of the blest, Each distant shining world, a kingdom for one of the redeemed; To read the antique history of earth, stamped upon those medals in the
rocks, Which Design hath rescued from decay, to tell of the green infancy of
To gather from the unconsidered shingle mottled starlike agates,
Full of unstoried flowers in the bubbling bloom-chalcedony:
Or gay and curious shells, fretted with microscopic carving,
Corallines, and fresh seaweeds, spreading forth their delicate branches.
It is an admirable lore, to learn the cause in the change,
To study the chemistry of Nature, her grand, but simple secrets.
To search out all her wonders, to track the resources of her skill,
To note her kind compensations, her unobtrusive excellence.
In all itis wise happiness to see the well-ordained laws of Jehovah,
The harmony that filleth all his mind, the justice that tempereth his
The wonderful all-prevalent analogy that testifieth one Creator,
The broad arrow of the Great King, carved on all the stores of his
arsenal. But beware, 0 worshipper of God, thou forget not him in his dealings, Though the bright emanations of his power hide him in created glory; For if, on the sea of knowledge, thou regardest not the pole-star of reli
gion, Thy bark will miss her port, and run upon the sand-bar of folly: And if, enamoured of the means, thou considerest not the scope to which
they tend, Wherein art thou wiser than the child, that is pleased with toys and bau.
Verily, a trifling scholar, thou heedest but the letter of instruction :
For as motive is spirit unto action, as memory endeareth place,
As the sun doth fertilize the earth, as affection quickeneth the heart,
So is the remembrance of God in the varied wonders of creation.
Man hath found out inventions, to cheat him of the weariness of life,
To help him to forget realities, and hide the misery of guilt.
For love of praise, and hope of gain, for passion and delusive happiness,
He joineth the circle of folly, and heapeth on the fire of excitement;
Oftentimes sadly out of heart at the tiresome insipidity of pleasure,
Oftentimes labouring in vain, convinced of the palpable deceit:
Yet a man speaketh to his brother, in the voice of glad congratulation,
And thinketh others happy, though he himself be wretched:
And hand joineth hand to help in the toil of amusement,
While the secret aching heart is vacant of all but disappointment.
The cheapest pleasures are the best; and nothing is more costly than
Yet we mortgage futurity, counting it but little loss:
Neither can a man delight in that which breedeth sorrow,
Yet do we hunt for joy even in the fires that consume it.
Whoso would find gladness may meet her in the hovel of poverty,
Where benevolence hath scattered around the gleanings of the horn of
plenty; Whoso would sun himself in peace, may be seen of her in deeds of
mercy, When the pale lean cheek of the destitute is wet with grateful tears