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emotion of mind. Of course, it is apt to derange the regular course of our ideas; and to produce confusion within. Nothing, at the same time, is more seducing than passion. During the time when it grows and swells, it constantly justifies, to our apprehension, the tumult which it creates, by means of a thousand false arguments which it forms, and brings to its aid. Of some passions, such as anger and resentment, the excess is so obviously dangerous, as loudly to call for moderation. He who gives himself up to the impetuosity of such passions, without restraint, is universally condemned by the world; and hardly accounted a man of sound mind. But, what is less apt to be attended to, some even of those passions which are reckoned innocent, or whose tendency to disorder and evil is not apparent, stand, nevertheless, in need of moderation and restraint, as well as others. For such is the feebleness of our nature, that every passion which has for its object any worldly good, is in hazard of attaching us too strongly, and of transporting us beyond the bounds of reason. If allowed to acquire the full and unrestrained dominion of the heart, it is sufficient, in various situations, to render us miserable; and almost in every situation, by its engrossing power, to render us negligent

of duties which, as men or Christians, we are bound to perform.

Of the insidious growth of passion, therefore, we have great reason to beware. We ought always to have at hand considerations, which may assist us in tempering its warmth and in regaining possession of our souls. Let us be persuaded, that moments of passion are always moments of delusion; that nothing truly is, what it then seems to be; that all the opinions which we then form, are erroneous; and all the judgments which we pass, are extravagant. Let moderation accustom us to wait until the fumes of passion be spent ; until the mist which it has raised begin to be dissipated. We shall then be able to see where truth and right lie; and reason shall, by degrees, resume the ascendant. On no occasion let us imagine, that strength of mind is shewn by violence of passion. This is not the strength of men, but the impetuosity of children. It is the strength of one who is in the delirium of a fever, or under the disease of madness. The strength of such a person is indeed increased. But it is an unnatural strength; which being under no proper guidance, is directed towards objects that occasion his destruction. True strength of mind is shewn in governing and resisting passion; not in giving it scope; in



restraining the wild beast within; and acting, on the most trying occasions, according to the dictates of conscience, and temperate reason.

Thus I have pointed out, in several instances, how moderation ought to be displayed: moderation in our wishes; moderation in our pursuits; moderation in our hopes; moderation in our pleasures; moderation in our passions. It is a principle which should habitually influence our conduct, and form the reigning temperature of the soul.

The great motive to this virtue is suggested by the words immediately following the text; the Lord is at hand. The judge is coming, who is to close this temporary scene of things, and to introduce a higher state of existence. The day is at hand, which will place the great concerns of men in a point of view very different from that in which they are at present beheld; will strip the world of its false glory; will detect the vanity of earthly pursuits; and disclose objects which have the proper title to interest a rational mind. Objects acquire power to engage our passions only in proportion as they are conceived to be great. But great, or little, are no more than terms of comparison. Those things which appear great to one who knows nothing greater, will sink

into a diminutive size, when he becomes acquainted with objects of a higher nature. Were it oftener in our thoughts that the Lord is at hand, none of these things which now discompose and agitate worldly men, would appear of sufficient magnitude to raise commotion in our breasts. Enlarged views of the future destination of man, and of the place which he may hope to possess in an eternal world, naturally give birth to moderation of mind, They tend to cool all misplaced ardour about the advantages of this state; and to produce that calm and temperate frame of spirit, which becomes men and Christains. They give no ground for entire disregard of earthly concerns. While we are men, we must feel and act as such. But they afford a good reason why they, who believe the Lord to be at hand, should let their moderation appear and be known unto all


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PROVERBS, Xix. 10.

The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

It is well known, that men have always been much inclined to place their happiness in the advantages of fortune, and the distinctions of rank. Hence these have been pursued by the multitude with such avidity, that every principle of honour, probity, and virtue, have been sacrificed to the attainment of them. At the same time, many circumstances might have convinced men, that supposing them to be successful in the pursuit, it by no means followed that happiness was to be the reward. For if happiness be, in truth, essentially connected

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