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is altogether a selfish creature, (as these moralizers would make him), it is certain he does not arrive at the full maturity of it, in this time of his life. No, If he deserves any accusation, it is in the other extreme, "That, in his youth he is "generally more FOOL than KNAVE ;" and, so far from being suspected of living to himself, that he lives rather to every body else; the unconsciousness of art and design in his own intentions, rendering him so utterly void of a suspicion of it in others, as to leave him too oft a bubble to every one who would take the advantage. But you will say, he soon abates of these transports of disinterested love; and as he grows older,-grows wiser, and learns to live more to himself. Let us examine
That a longer knowledge of the world, and some experience of insincerity, will teach him a lesson of more caution in the choice of friendships, and less forwardness in the undistinguishing offers of his services, is what I grant. But, if he cool$ of these, does he not grow warmer still in con, nections of a different kind? Follow him, I pray you, into the pext stage of life, where he has entered into engagements, and appears as the father of a family, and you will see the passion still remains the stream somewhat more confined➡ but runs the stronger for it,the same benevolence of heart, altered only in its course, and the difference of objects towards which it tends.— Take a short view of him in this light, as acting under the many tender claims which that relation lays upon him,-spending many weary days and sleepless nights, utterly forgetful of himself, intent only upon his family, and, with an anxious heart contriving and laboring to keep it from distress, against that hour when he shall be taken from its protection. Does such a one live to himself? He who rises early, late takes rest, and eats
the bread of carefulness, to save others the sorrow of doing so after him; does such a one live only to himself?-Ye who are parents, answer this question for him. How oft have ye sacrificed your health, your ease, your pleasures,-nay, the very comforts of your lives, for the sake of your children? How many indulgencies have ye given up? What self-denials and difficulties have ye cheerfully undergone for them? In their sickness, or reports of their misconduct, how have ye gone on your way sorrowing? What alarms within you, when fancy forbodes but imaginary misfortunes hanging over them?-but when real ones have overtaken them, and mischief befallen them in the way in which they have gone, how, sharper than a sword, have ye felt the workings of parental kindness? In whatever period of human life we look for proofs of selfishness,-let us not seek them in this relation of a parent, whose whole life, when truly known, is often little else but a succession of cares, heart-aches, and disquieting apprehensions, enough to show, that he is but an instrument in the hand of Gop to provide for the well being of others, to serve their interest as well as his own.
If you try the truth of this reasoning upon every other part or situation of the same life, you will find it holds good in one degree or other. Take a view of it out of those closer connections both of a friend and parent. Consider him, for a moment, under that natural alliance, in which even a heathen poet has placed him, namely, that of a man,—and as such, to his honor, as one incapable of standing unconcerned in whatever concerns his fellow-creatures. Compassion has so great a share in our nature, and the miseries of this world are so constant an exercise of it, as to leave it in no one's power, (who deserves the name of man,) in this respect to live to himself. VOL. III,
'He cannot stop his ears against the cries of the unfortunate- The sad story of the fatherless and him that has no helper, must be heard-Thę sorrowful sighing of the prisoner will come before him; and a thousand other untold cases of distress, to which the life of man is subject, find a way to his heart, let interest guard the passage as it will; -if he hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, he will not be able to shut up his bowels of compassion from him.
Let any man of common humanity look back upon his own life, as subjected to these strong claims, and recollect the influence they have had upon him-How oft the mere impulses of generosity and compassion have led him out of his way-in how many acts of charity and kindness, his fellow-feeling for others has made him forget himself;-in neighborly offices, how oft he has acted against all considerations of profit, convenience, nay, sometimes even of justice itself:-Let him add to this account, how much, in the progress of his life, has been given up even to the lesser obligations of civility and good manners,-what restraints they have laid him under;-how large a portion of time,-how much of his inclination, and the plan of life he should most have wished, has from time to time been made a sacrifice to his good-nature and disinclination to give pain or disgust to others!
Whoever takes a view of the life of man, in this glass wherein I have shown it, will find it so beset and hemmed in with obligations of one kind or other, as to leave little room to suspect, that man can live to himself: And so closely has our Creator linked us together (as well as all other parts of his works) for the preservation of that harmony in the frame and system of things which his wisdom has at first established,—that we find this bond of mutual dependence, however relaxed,
is too strong to be broke; and I believe, that the most selfish men find it is so, and that they can not, in fact, live so much to themselves, as the narrowness of their own hearts incline them. If these reflections are just upon the moral relations in which we stand to each other, let us close the examination with a short reflection upon the great ralation in which we stand to GOD.
The first and most natural thought on this subject, which at one time or other will thrust itself upon every man's mind, is this,-That there is a GOD who made me, to whose gift I owe all the powers and faculties of my soul, to whose provi dence I owe all the blessings of my life, and by whose permission it is that I exercise and enjoy them;-that I am placed in this world as a crea ture but of a day, hastening to the place from whence I shall not return; that I am accountable for my conduct and behavior to this greatest and wisest of Beings, before whose judgment-seat I must finally appear, and receive the things done in my body whether they are good, or whether they are bad.
Can any one doubt, but the most inconsiderate of men sometimes sit down coolly, and make some. such plain reflections as these upon their state and condition?-or that, after they have made them, can one imagine they lose all effect?-As little appearance as there is of religion in the world, there is a great deal of its influence felt in its affairs-nor can one so root out the principles of it, but, like nature, they will return again, and give checks and interruptions to guilty pursuits. There are seasons, when the thoughts of a just GOD overlooking, and the terror of an after-reckoning, have made the most determined tremble, and stop short in the execution of a wicked purpose. And if we conceive that the worst of men lay some restraints upon themselves from the weight
of this principle, what shall we think of the good