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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about Friends and Neighbors.
of soul—­to all, indeed, who delight, not only in promoting their own prosperity, but in contributing to the welfare of every member of the human family.  Who cannot remember some incident of his own life, in which an individual, then and perhaps now a stranger—­one who has not been seen for years, and never may be seen again on this side the grave, manifested the true, the genuine, the gentle spirit of a gentleman and a Christian, in some mere trifle—­some little but impulsive and spontaneous act, which nevertheless developed the whole heart, and displayed the real character!  Distance and time may separate, and our pursuits and vocations may be in paths distinct, dissimilar, and far apart.  Yet, there are moments—­quiet, calm, and contemplative, when memory will wander back to the incidents referred to, and we will feel a secret bond of affinity, friendship, and brotherhood.  The name will be mentioned with respect if not affection, and a desire will be experienced to repay, in some way or on some occasion, the generous courtesy of the by-gone time.  It is so easy to be civil and obliging, to be kindly and humane!  We not only thus assist the comfort of others, but we promote our own mental enjoyment.  Life, moreover, is full of chance’s and changes.  A few years, sometimes, produce extraordinary revolutions in the fortunes of men.  The haughty of to-day may be the humble of to-morrow; the feeble may be the powerful; the rich may be the poor, But, if elevated by affluence or by position, the greater the necessity, the stronger the duty to be kindly, courteous, and conciliatory to those less fortunate.  We can afford to be so; and a proper appreciation of our position, a due sympathy for the misfortunes of others, and a grateful acknowledge to Divine Providence, require that we should be so.  Life is short at best.  We are here a few years—­we sink into the grave—­and even our memory is phantom-like and evanescent.  How plain, then, is our duty!  It is to be true to our position, to our conscience, and to the obligations imposed upon us by society, by circumstances, and by our responsibility to the Author of all that is beneficent and good.

LEAVING OFF CONTENTION BEFORE IT BE MEDDLED WITH.

WE are advised to leave off contention before it be meddled with, by one usually accounted a very wise man.  Had he never given the world any other evidence of superior wisdom, this admonition alone would have been sufficient to have established his claims thereto.  It shows that he had power to penetrate to the very root of a large share of human misery.  For what is the great evil in our condition here?  Is it not misunderstanding, disagreement, alienation, contention, and the passions and results flowing from these?  Are not contempt, and hatred, and strife, and alteration, and slander, and evil-speaking, the things hardest to bear, and most prolific of suffering, in the lot of human life?  The worst woes of life are such as spring from, these sources.

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