Page images

iv P R E F A C E.

The editor has thought it necessary to remark, that a few verbal alterations have been made in some of the extracts, the better to adapt them to the use of the present design; but as the sentiments and tenor of the original pieces are not thereby materially changed, it is hoped this freedom will be excused by their respective authors, to whom not the least injury or offence has been intended.


ONE of the most approved judges of books amongst us, after perusing some parts of the manuscript, has expressed his approbation thereof as follows:

“ I have read, with much pleasure, the manuscript

specimen communicated to me of the Miscellanies in " Profe and Verse I am glad to hear they are now or« dered for the press.

“ A BOOK, containing so many well chosen senti. " ments, and excellent instructions, put into the hands “ of our children, cannot but be highly useful to the e rising generation.



[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Othee, let my first off 'rings rise, ,

Whose fun creates the day,
Swift as his glad'ning influence flies,

and spotless as his ray.
What numbers with heart-piercing fighs

Have past this tedious night!
What numbers too have clos'd their eyes,

No more to see the light!
Sound was my sleep, my dreams were gay :

How short such time review'd?
My night stole unperceiv'd away ;

I'm like the day renew'd.
This day thy fav'ring hand be nigh,

So oft vouchsaf'd before ;
Still may it lead, protect, supply,

And I that hand adore.
If bliss thy Providence impart,

For which reign'd I pray,
Give me to feel the grateful heart,

And without guilt be gay.
Afliction, should thy love intend,

As vice or folly's cure,
Patient to gain that gracious end,

May I the means endure.
Thus from my fix'd or varying fate,

Some virtue let me gain,
That Heaven, nor high, nor low estate,

When sent, may send in vain.
Be this, and ev'ry future day

Still wiser than the past,
That life's improvement to survey
May well sustain



[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

A 3


THE duties of religion, fincerely and regularly performed, will always be sufficient to exalt the meaneft, and to exercise the highest understanding. That mind will never be vacant, which is frequently recalled by ftated duties or meditations on eternal interests ; nor can any hour be long, which is spent in obtaining some new qualification for celeftial happiness.

TO love an enemy, is the diftinguishing characteristic of a religion, which is not of man, but of God. It could be delivered as a precept, only by him who lived and died to establish it by his example.

IF thou dost good to man, as an evidence of thy love to God, thy virtue will be exalted from moral to divine ; and that happiness, which is the foretafte of paradise, will be thy reward upon

earth. RECREATION after bufiness is allowable ; but he that follows his pleasure instead of his business, shall in a little time have no business to follow.


THOU Pow'r Supreme, by whose command I live, The grateful tribute of my praise receive; To thy indulgence, I my being owe, And all the joys which from that being flow. Scarce eighteen suns have form’d the rolling year, And run their defin'd courses round the sphere, Since thou my undistinguish'd form survey'd, Amung the lifeless heaps of matter laid. Thy skill my elemental clay refin'd, The straggling parts in beauteous order joined ; With perfect symmetry.compos'd the whole, And stampt thy facred image on my soul; A foul, susceptible of endless joy! Whose frame, nor force, nor time, can e'er destroy, But shall subfift, when nature claims my breath, And bid defiance to the power of death,


To realms of blifs, with active freedom foar,
And live when earth and hell shall be no more.
Indulgent God, in vain my tongue assays,
For this immortal gift to speak thy praise.
How shall my heart, its grateful sense reveal,
When all the energy of words must fail ?
its influence in



action, prove my thanks fincere.
Grant me, great God! a heart to thee inclin’d,
Increase my faith, and rectify my mind;
Teach me betimes to tread thy sacred ways,
And to thy service confecrate my days ;
Still as thro' life's uncertain maze I stray,
Be thou the guiding-itar to mark my way;
Conduct the steps of my unguarded youth,
And point their motions to the paths of truth.
Protect me by thy providential care,
And teach my soul tavoid the tempter's snare.
Thro' all the various scenes of human life,
In calms of ease, or blustering storms of ftrife,
Thro' every turn of this inconftant ftate,
Preferve my temper, equal and sedate.
Give me a mind that bravely does despise,
The low designs of artifice and lies.
Be my religion, such as taught by thee,
Alike from pride and superstition free.
Inform my judgment, rectify my will,
Confirm my reason, and my passions still.
To gain thy favour be my only end,
And to that scope may every action tend.
Amidst the pleasures of a prosp'rous state,
Whose flatt ring charms too oft the mind elate,

I think to whom these joys I owe,
And bless the bounteous hand from whence they flow :
Or if an adverse fortune be my share,
Let not its terrors tempt me to despair,
But bravely arm’d, a steady faith maintain,
And own all best which thy decrees ordain ;
On thy Almighty Providence depend,
The best protector, and the surest friend.
A 3



Thus on life's stage may I my part maintain,
And at my exit thy applauses gain;
When thy pale herald summons me away,
Support me in that great catastrophe;
In that last conflict guard me from alarms,
And take my soul, expiring, to thy arms.

" BLESSED are the poor in spirit, for their's is " the kingdom of Heaven.”- Thus our bleffed Saviour opened his sermon on the mount; and from his example we may be assured that humility is the richest garb that the soul can wear. By this word is to be understood, not an abject poorness of spirit, that would stoop to do a mean thing; but such an humble sense of human nature, as sets the heart and affections right towards God, and gives us every temper that is tender and affectionate towards our fellow-creatures. This is the soil of all vir. tues, where every thing that is good and lovely grows.

DESPISE not labour; if you do not want it for food, you may for phyfic: It strengthens the body, invigorates the mind, and prevents the ill consequences of idleness.

OBSERVE the ant, for she instructs the man,
And preaches labour, gath'ring all the can,
Then brings it to increafe her heap at home,
Against the winter which the knows will come ;
And when that comes she creeps abroad no more,
But lies at home, and feasts upon her store,


WHILE night, in folemn shade, invests the pole,
And calm reflection sooths the pensive foul;
While reason, undifturb'd, allerts her sway,
And life's deceitful colours fade away --
To thee, all-conscious Presence! I devote
This peaceful interval of fober thought.


« PreviousContinue »