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sufferings, but the absence of enjoyments, will always yield to the remedies of reason.
One of the great arts to escape superfluous uneasiness, is to free our minds from the habit of comparing our condition with that of others on whom the blessings of life are more bountifully bestowed, or with imaginary states of delight and security, perhaps unattainable by mortals. Few are placed in a situation so gloomy and distressful, as not to see every day beings more forlorn and miserable, from whom they may learn to rejoice at their own lot.
'No inconvenience is less superable by art or diligence than the inclemency of climates, and therefore none affords more proper exercise for this philosophical abstraction. A native of England, pinched with the frost of December, may lessen his affection for his own country, by suffering his imagination to wander in the vales of Asia, and sport among woods that are always green, and streams that always murmur; but, if he turns his thoughts toward the polar regions, and considers the nations to whom a great portion of the year is darkness, and who are condemned to pass weeks and months amid mountains of snow, he will soon recover his tranquillity; and, while he stirs his fire, or throws his cloak about him, reflect how much he owes to Providence, that he is not placed in Greenland or Siberia.'
These admirable observations not only illustrate the subject, but inculcate lessons, which, if attended to, will much conduce to diminish the pressure, of imaginary evils, and to improve and heighten the happiness we enjoy. Were we condemned to the dreary climes, and to the manner of life, of the natives of the arctic countries, we should deem it insupportable. How deplorable should we think our situations, if we saw nothing
before our eyes but stupendous mountains of ice and extensive wastes of snow; if the absence of the Sun, for entire months, rendered the cold more insupportable still; if, instead of our comfortable habitations, we had no other asylum than a gloomy cavern, or a skin-covered tent; if we had no other resource for our subsistence than a perilous activity in the chase; and if we were deprived of all the pleasures which the arts impart, and of all the sweets of society that exalt existence, and render life delightful! Let the consideration, then, of the unspeakable advantages which we enjoy in our temperate clime, and to which we are so inattentive, not only banish every repining thought, that we are not placed in still milder regions and still serener skies, but teach us to regard the Divine Being with increasing love and unceasing adoration. Most sincerely do we accord with the Danish Poet:
Oh! no where blooms so bright the summer rose,
That pillowed infancy's unbroken rest.
Pours lib'ral down a more exhaustless ray,
The world's green breast soars higher to the sky;
Matched with the bush, where, hid in berries white, Mine arms around my infant love were crossed? What Jura's peak, to that upon whose height
I strove to grasp the moon; and where the flight Of my first thought was in my MAKER lost 1?
Poems from the Danish, translated by Mr. Walker,
In the midst of those dreary scenes, which even our infant winter' may sometimes exhibit, let us rejoice in the enchanting prospect of that delightful season, which will so soon awaken all Nature, and diffuse warmth, and life, and happiness around.
Too delicate! reproach no more
Fair blossoms deck the trees, fair flowers adorn the.
REFLECTIONS ON THE EXISTENCE OF A
There's no philosophy without a God.
THE commencement of a new year' must naturally suggest to a wise man some reflections on the years which are now no more, and some anxiety concerning those which are yet to come. If his progress in knowledge and virtue has been in proportion to the opportunities of acquisition, a retrospect of the past must afford the most exquisite satisfaction; and, for the future, he can entertain no other anxiety, than that the years, which, as it
This paper was first printed in a Magazine, published on the 1st of January.
were, have been habitually devoted to God, be not lost by the guilt or indiscretion of a moment; but that the same vigilance and circumspection by which he was so long enabled to repel temptation; and the same ardour in the pursuits of excellence, which had hitherto been productive of such happy effects; may, at last, conduct him to that blessed situation, which the Psalmist emphatically describes as his end: 'Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.'
The firm conviction of a Supreme Being, who is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, is the actuating principle of such a man, in all the vicissitudes of life. His confidence in the divine protection, his resignation to the divine will, his habitual regard to the divine presence; in a word, those hopes of a happier state, which are the ultimate aim of all his pursuits, may be thus expressed in the beautiful language of Mrs. Barbauld:
If the soft hand of winning pleasure leads,
With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
Then, when the last, the closing hour draws nigh,
But to the bulk of mankind, immersed in the cares of business, or the pursuits of pleasure, this veneration of the Divine Being, this confidence in his goodness, and acquiescence in his dispensations, so far from being habitual, seldom forms the subject of even a momentary meditation; although there is scarcely an object in the creation, how minute and insignificant it may seem, that does not demonstrate the existence of a God,
Who, high in glory, and in might serene,
I shall here lay before my readers a few arguments to prove this important and most essential truth: I say, most essential truth, because, when we are once effectually convinced of this, a due attention to the nature and circumstances of this life, as it respects another, cannot fail to inspire a temper of habitual devotion, and lead us to regard obedience to the will of God' as the great and joyful business of our lives; while every thing else, in these sublunary scenes, will appear, comparatively of no moment. To conduct ourselves with