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.