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quiet though generally despicable meanness: but let the contempt of the world be what it will in a heathen ; let it be pride or peevishness, vain-glory, or any thing, rather than a reproach to Christians; what say you to the followers of our Lord and Master? “ Then said Peter, silver and gold I have none,” Acts iii. None? what hast thou then, thou poor disciple of a poor master? A true faith, a godlike charity, and unshaken hope : blessed art thou amongst men; nothing can make thee greater, nothing richer, nothing happier, but heaven. You see plainly, then, a man may be virtuous, though not wealthy; and that fortune, which prevents his being rich, cannot prevent his being happy.
This discourse will never down; this is not calculated for this age : philosophy must be a little more mannerly, and religion a little more genteel and complaisant than formerly, ere it can be adapted and accommodated to the present state of things. Go on then, let us try how far it will be necessary to condescend. You cannot be happy; why? because you are not rich ; go then to God, and beg you may
be rich ; I have not the face to put up such arrogant and intemperate requests to God; it is plain, then, it is not necessary to be rich in order to be happy: for whatever is necessary to this thou mayest with good assurance beg of God. But thy desires are more humble and modest ; thou aimest at nothing but what is very necessary ; a fairer house, another servant, a dish or two of meat more for thy friends, a coach for thy convenience or ease, and a few hundred pounds apiece more for thy children: 0 heavenly ingredients of a rational pleasure ! O divine instruments of human happiness ! O the humble and morti
requests of modest souls! Well, if these things be so necessary, and these desires be so decent and virtuous, if thou canst not be happy, and consequently must be miserable, without them-put up a bill, represent thy condition in it; such a one wants a more commodious house, more servants, more dishes, &c., and desires the
of the congregation for support under this affliction. You are profane: far be it from me; I would only let thee see the wantonness of thy desires. If thou thinkest this would expose thee to public laughter, go to thy minister, unfold thy case to him, let him pray for thee; he is a good man, and his prayers will go far; you rally and ridicule me. Enter then into thy closet, shut thy door; thou mayest trust God, he pities and considers even human infirmities; I could even almost in
my mind desire it of him ; but I am ashamed to do it in a set and solemn prayer. I could almost make the petition in the gross, but I blush to think of descending to particulars. Well, then, I see plainly that wealth in any degree of it is so far from being necessary to our happiness, that it has so little of usefulness or conveniency in it, that
, in thy conscience between God and thee, thou canst not think fit to complain of the want of it.
But this answer will never satisfy him who complains of want, or of being engaged in continual troubles, and tossed by the daily changes and revolutions of the world. I confess it will not : but I must tell such a one, if Solomon's observation be true, “The hand of the diligent maketh rich," Prov. x.; and that other,“ Seest thou a man diligent in his business ? he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men,” Prov. xxii.
Then his poverty is his crime as well as his calamity ; he must redeem himself from this his punishment by industry and prayer. As to calamities, this must be acknowledged, that the mind of a good and great man, which stands firm upon its own basis, a good God, a good Saviour, and a good conscience, may remain unmoved, when the earth trembles, and the sea roars round about him. Chances indeed befall things temporal ; but he leans not upon them. I may say farther, that he who, upon mature deliberation and upon necessary obligations of duty, engages himself in a just cause may be unfortunate, but he cannot be miserable : his sufferings carry a secret pleasure in them, and his misfortunes are full of hope and glory; if he consider, if he reflect, if he do not feed on vain and airy projects, and suffer himself to be unwarily transported by very irrational, though seemingly just passions. I must lastly add, that it is not the necessity of their affairs, nor the iniquity of times, which doth commonly involve and entangle men in public or private calamities, but some secret vanity, some blind impetuous passion, some ill-laid project, or some treacherous or dishonourable fear.
135.-MENTAL STIMULUS NECESSARY TO EXERCISE.
ANDREW COMBE. [In the desire to enhance the benevolent intentions of its author, we give the following extract from one of the most valuable and popu
lar works of our time, · The Principles of Physiology applied to the Preservation of Health, and to the Improvement of Physical and Mental Education: By Andrew Combe, M.D. This article was in type when the newspapers announced the death of Dr. Combe, on the 9th of August. This eminent man was only in his forty-ninth year. His knowledge was of the best kind; but he had the high merit, which men of science have sometimes thought beneath them, of rendering that knowledge useful to the greatest number.]
That exercise should always spring from, and be continued under, the influence of an active and harmonious nervous and mental stimulus, will scarcely require any additional evidence; but, as the principle is not sufficiently appreciated or acted upon, a few remarks seem still to be called for to enforce its observance. The simple fact that the muscles are expressly constructed for the purpose of fulfilling the commands of the will, might of itself lead to the inference that a healthy mental stimulus ought to be considered an essential condition or accompaniment of exercise; and, accordingly, the muscular action becomes easy and pleasant under the influence of mental excitement, and a vigorous nervous impulse is useful in sustaining and directing it. On the other hand, how difficult, wearisome, and inefficient, muscular contraction becomes when the mind, which directs it, is languid or absorbed by other employments! Hence the superiority, as exercises for the young, of social and inspiriting games, which, by their joyous and boisterous mirth, call forth the requisite nervous stimulus to put the muscles into vigorous and varied action; and hence the utter inefficiency of the dull and monotonous daily walk which sets all physiological conditions at defiance, and which, in so many schools, is made to supersede the exercise which it only counterfeits. Even the playful gambolling and varied movements which are so characteristic of the young of all animals, man not excepted, and which are at once so pleasing and attractive, might have taught us that activity of feeling and affection, and sprightliness of mind, are intended by nature to be the sources and accompaniments of healthful and invigorating muscular exercise; and that the system of bodily confinement and mental cultivation now so much in vogue is calculated to inflict lasting injury on all who are subjected to its restraints. The buoyaney of spirit and comparative independence enjoyed by boys when
out of school prevent them from suffering under it so much as girls do; but the mischief done to both is the more unpardonable when it does occur, because it might so easily have been entirely avoided. Even in some infant schools, where properly conducted exercise ought to be considered as a necessary of life, the principle on which I am insisting is so little understood or valued, that no play-grounds have been provided, and the very best means of moral as well as physical training-play with companions—has, to the great injury of the poor children, been wholly omitted. Under judicious direction the playground affords the most valuable and effective aid to the parent and teacher, not only in eliciting the highest degree of physical health, but in developing the general character by the practical inculcation of moral principle, kindness, and affection, in the daily and hourly conduct of the children committed to their charge. A double evil is thus incurred in its neglect or omission.
Facts, illustrative of the beneficial influence of a mental stimulus as the only legitimate source of muscular activity, abound every where, and must be familiar to every reflecting mind; but as the practical influences deducible from them have, to a great extent, escaped the notice of parents and teachers, I shall add a few remarks in their farther elucidation.
Every body knows how wearisome and disagreeable it is to saunter along, without having some object to attain ; and how listless and unprofitable a walk taken against the inclination, and merely for exercise, is, compared to the same exertion made in pursuit of an object on which we are intent. The difference is simply, that in the former case the muscles are obliged to work without that full nervous impulse which nature has decreed to be essential to their healthy and energetic action; and that, in the latter, the nervous impulse is in full and harmonious operation. The great superiority of active sports, botanical and geological excursions, gardening and turning, as means of exercise, over mere monotonous movements, is referable to the same principle
. Every kind of youthful play and mechanical operation interests and excites the mind, as well as occupies the body, and, by thus placing the muscles in the best position for wholesome and beneficial exertion, enables them to act without fatigue, for a length of time which, if occupied in mere walking for exercise, would utterly exhaust
The elastic spring, the bright eye, the cheerful glow of beings thus excited form a perfect contrast to the spiritless and inanimate aspect of many of our boarding-school processions; and the results, in point of health and activity, are not less different. So influential, indeed, is the nervous stimulus, that examples have occurred of strong mental emotions having instantaneously given life and vigour to paralytic limbs. This has happened in cases of shipwrecks, fires, and sea fights, and shows how indispensable it is to have the mind engaged and interested along with the muscles. Many a person who feels ready to drop from fatigue, after a merely mechanical walk, would have no difficulty in subsequently undergoing much continuous exertion in active play or in dancing; and it is absurd, therefore, to say that exercise is not beneficial, when, in reality, proper exercise has not been tried.
The amount of bodily exertion of which soldiers are capable is well known to be prodigiously increased by the mental stimulus of pursuit, of fighting, or of victory. In the retreat of the French from Moscow, for example, when no enemy was near, the soldiers became depressed in courage and enfeebled in body, and nearly sank to the earth through exhaustion and cold; but no sooner did the report of the Russian guns sound in their ears, or the gleam of hostile bayonets flash in their eyes, than new life seemed to pervade them, and they wielded powerfully the arms which, a few moments before, they could scarcely drag along the ground. No sooner, however, was the enemy repulsed, and the nervous stimulus which animated their muscles withdrawn, than their feebleness returned. Dr. Sparrman, in like manner, after describing the fatigue and exhaustion which he and his party endured in their travels at the Cape, adds,—“ yet, what even appears to me a matter of wonder is, that as soon as we got a glimpse of the game all this languor left us in an instant.” On the principle already mentioned this result is perfectly natural, and in strict harmony with what we observe in sportsmen, cricketers, golfers, skaters and others, who, moved by a mental aim, are able to undergo a much greater amount of bodily labour than men of stronger muscular frames, actuated by no excitement of mind or vigorous nervous impulse. I have heard an intelligent engineer remark the astonishment often felt by country people, at finding him and his town companions, although more slightly made, withstand the fatigues and exposure of a day's surveying better than themselves; but, said he, they overlopked