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worship; but a pious master and mistress will see to it, that the domestics have a space every day, if practicable, for their own private devotions. This is one of the kind. est and wisest things they can do for their dependants.
The following remarks, which I have copied, appear to be of great practical value in general; and of peculiar importance to every family circle. The writer observes
“I hope I have not lived to the present time without deriving some very important lessons from observation and experience, particularly in domestic life. This is the sphere of a woman's action. It is here that full scope is given for the right use of her understanding, and for the exemplification of true religion. A very important trust is committed to her.
“Her trials will chiefly arise from those of her own household : it is therefore of very great importance that a good and decisive system should be first arranged. Let it be fully impressed on the domestics, that such things, and such rules, you expect will be observed. The fewer deviations, the more their comfort, as well as that of their superiors, will be preserved. But it is from the breach of good order, the non-performance of things necessary, and expected to be done, that the trials and exercise of temper and patience chiefly arise : hence the vast importance of self-command.
“Our tempers are chiefly exercised by an opposition to self-will : and the more of Self-importance there is in the character, the more frequent, and the greater in degree, will be the trial. It appears to me to be well to settle it in the mind, that daily trials may or will arise-trials known to God, which may greatly tend to promote a spirit of watchfulness and self-acquaintance : and from a proper use of them the Christian temper may become more established.
“For this end, how needful, every morning, to pray for special grace to keep me from manifesting any temper contrary to the Gospel, either by hard or unkind speeches ; or by suffering trifles wholly to engross that mind which ought to be supremely fixed on heavenly things! The indulgence of evil tempers darkens evidences, and clouds comforts. Most earnestly do I entreat of God a complete mastery over myself, that, as far as I am concerned, my house may be a Bethel-that servants, and all connected with me, may be constrained to admire the blessedness and efficacy of true religion. What importance will they attach to my admonitions ! How much greater will their respect be for a mistress who has reason at her command, and who enforces all by a spirit of love !
“ Good order and punctuality I consider as of vast importance to the right regulation of a family. This will have its foundation in early rising : without which I shall be unable to devote time to doing good, in various ways, to my indigent fellow-creatures.
“There is something very delightful in living to good purpose-to have the prayers and blessings of the pious poor !”-(Memoir of Mrs. Cooper, by Dr. Adam Clarke.)
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?-Ecclesiastes ïi. 2.
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.-iii. 7.
If a man possess what is called a talent for conversation, it will be of little value to himself or others, unless it be united with a talent for silence. As it is in free, social parties that the conversational powers are cultivated; so in the same circles a wise man learns when to refrain from speaking. La Bruyère beautifully asks, Me montrera-t-on une plus belle science, que la science de se taire à propos ? But the beauty of these social accomplishments consists in their flowing from Christian humility and kindness.
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God : for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth : therefore let thy words be few.
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.—Ecclesiastes v. 2, 3.
Our temper, even when we are asleep, as well as when awake, seems to depend much on habitual devoutness, quietness, moderation in worldly matters, and self-controul.
Sorrow is better than laughter : for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool : this also is vanity.-—vi. 3. 6.
Yielding pacifieth great offences.—x. 4. This is true, with both real and imaginary offences. When real offence is given by us, it is our bounden duty to yield. “If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thy· self, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thy hand upon thy mouth:” (Proverbs xxx. 32.) The manner also of yielding is here adverted to, in terms that show a very delicate and high sense of moral honour. “ If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place : for yielding pacifieth great offences.” For if a man, conscious of deserving censure, thinks that by withdrawing he sets matters right again, it is a great mistake. By thus withdrawing, he seems to acquit himself; whereas he ought to have waited, to see whether the person whom he has offended would condemn him. If the offended party, after a rea. sonable space of time, retires ; or if he remains, and cheerfully passes on to another subject; the offender may venture to consider himself as tacitly acquitted: but he must not, in any case, if the offence be real, acquit or justify himself.
With regard to imaginary affronts, one would not call them “great offences,” were it not for their great frequency, and the great trouble which they occasion. Here, also, yielding is a course by which a man may gain much, while he loses nothing. A prudent person will indeed try to keep out of the way of casual offences ; but since, in the chancemedley of life, he may not be able always to do this, his better course then is, not to be obstinate about trifles; not to show temper; and, in short, to concede any thing that is not of an essential character. Some people have a natural, happy talent of overleaping difficulties; others stick at them, explain, discuss, re-state, and re-argue the point, which, after all, was but a misunderstanding : others, again, exhibit a sullenness, or an abruptness of manner, which leaves as painful a wound as contention. “Yielding," seems not inconsistent with a calm, meek, condescending explana. tion, if the other party will bear it. In all relations of life, conjugal, domestic, social, and public, wise men discover, as they grow older, the necessity of often giving way.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.—Isaiah xlii. 2, 3.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.—liii. 7.
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his
He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.—Lamentations iii. 27, 28.
The yoke is here meant, principally, of affliction. Afflic. tions from God, coming in our early life, are good, being designed both to expel youthful vanities, and to harden the temper to manly virtues. Joseph learned some of his best Court-rules in the prison. To keep time ; punctually to mind orders; to allot provisions ; to read the meaning
of men in their countenances ; to bear cutting injuries and disappointments; to repress his feelings, and keep silence, committing all to God — these habits, well learned before he was thirty years of age, would be of essential service to him in various parts of his duty as Viceroy of Egypt.
Not less remarkable is the character of the prophet Daniel, who was one of those whose calamities are mourned over in this very Book of Lamentations. Dragged away, before the twentieth year of his age, into captivity, he is at Babylon tempted to eat of the royal dainties, but is per. mitted, together with his companions, to decline them.' All his days he passes at, or near, Babylon. Early inured to fasting, we find him thus mortifying the flesh for three whole weeks, when nearly ninety years of age. And, when past ninety, he is still able to superintend the hundred and twenty provinces, into which Darius divided his kingdom. To the end of time it will be seen, that it was well for him, for his people, and for the whole Church of God, that he bore “ the yoke in his youth.”
Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.Daniel ü. 19.
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty ?
While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar! to thee it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from thee.-iv. 30, 31.
The possession of Power has a tendency to harden the heart against both God and man. Such men as Pharaoh,