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and to see what they have often seen. Pleasures thus drawn to the dregs, become vapid and tasteless. What might have pleased long, if enjoyed with temperance, and mingled with retirement, being devoured with such eager halte, speedily furfeits and disgufts. Hence these are the persons, who, after having run through a rapid course of .pleasure, after having glittered for a few years in the fore. most line of public amusements, are the most apt to fly at lalt to a melancholy retreat ; not led by religion or reason, but driven by disappointed hopes and exhausted fpirits, to the pensive conclufion, that "all is vanity"

If uninterrupted intercourse with the world wears out the man of plealure, it no less oppresses the man of business and ambition. The strongest spirits must at length link under it. The happiest temper must be foured by inceffant returns of the opposition, the inconstancy, and treachery of

For he who lives always in the bustle of the world, lives in a perpetual warfare. Here, an enemy encounters; there, a rival supplants him. The ingratitude of a friend ftings him this hour ; and the pride of a superior wounds him the next In vain he flies for relief to trilling amusements. These may afford a temporary opiate to care i but they communicate no strength to the mind. On the contrary, they leave it more soft and defenceless, when molestations and injuries renew their attack.

Let him who wishes for an effectual cure to all the wounds which the world can inflict, retire from intercourse with men to intercourse with his Creator. When he en. ters into his clolet, and shuts the door, let him fhut out at the same time all intrusion of worldly care ; and dwell among objects divine and immortal. Those fair prospects of order and peace thall there open to his view, which form the most perfect contrast to the confusion and misery of this earth. The celestial inhabitants quarrel not ; among them there is neither ingratitude, nor envy, nor tu. mult. Men

may harass one another ; but in the kingdom of heaven concord and tranquillity reign forever. From such objects, there beams upon the mind of the pious man, a pure and enlivening light ; there is diffused over his heart, a holy calm. His agitated fpirit reaflumes its firmness and regains its peace

The world links in its impor• tance; and the load of mortality and misery loles almost all its weight. The "green pastures" open, and the "fill waters” flow around him, belide which the “Shepherd of

Ifrael" guides his flock. The disturbances and alarms, so formidable to those who are engaged in the tumults of the world, seem to him only like thunder rolling afar off ; like the noise of diftant waters, whose found he hears, whose course he traces, but whose waves touch him not.

As religious retirement is thus evidently conducive to our happiness in this life, so it is absolutely necessary in order to prepare us for the life to come, He who lives always in public, cannot live to his own soul. Our conversation and intercourse with the world, is, in several respects, an education for vice. From our earliest youth, we are accustomed to hear riches and honours extolled as the chief possessions of man ; and proposed to us, as the principal aim of our future pursuits. We are trained up, to look with admiration on the flattering marks of distinction which they beltow. In quest of those fancied blessings, we see the multitude around us eager and fervent. Principles of duty, we may, perhaps, hear sometimes inculcated; but we seldom behold them brought into competition with worldly profit. The foft names, and plausible colours, under which deceit, fenfuality, and revenge, are presented to us in common dir. course, weaken, by degrees, our natural sense of the distinction between good and evil. We often meet with crimes authorised by high examples, and rewarded with the caresses and smiles of the world. Thus breathing habitually a contagious air, how certain is our ruin, unless we sometimes retreat from this peftilential region, and seek for proper correctives of the disorders which are contracted there ! Religious retirement both abates the disease, and furnishes the remedy. It lessens the corrupting influence of the world, and it gives opportunity for better principles to exert their power.

Solitude is the hallowed ground which religion hath, in every age, chosen for her own. There, her inspiration is felt, and her fecret mysteries el. evate the soul ; there, falls the tear of contrition ; there, rifes towards heaven the sigh of the heart ; there, melts the foul with all the tenderness of devotion, and pours forth itself before him who made, and him who redeemed it. How can any one who is unacquainted with such employments of mind, be fit for heaven? If heaven be the habitation of pure affections, and of intellectual joy, can such a itate be relished by him who is always immersed among sensible objects, and has never acquired any taste for the pleasures of the understanding, and the heart?

The great and the worthy, the pious and the virtuous, have ever been addicted to serious retirement. It is the characteristic of little and frivolous minds, to be wholly occupied with the vulgar objects of life. These fill up their delires, and supply all the entertainment which their coarse apprehensions can relish. But a more refined and enlarged mind leaves the world behind it, feels a call for higher pleasures, and seeks them in retreat. The man of public Ipirit has recourse to it, in order to form plans for general good; the man of genius, in order to dwell on his favourite themes ; the philofopher, to pursue his discoveries, the faint, to improve himself in grace. 6 Isaac went out to meditate in the fields, at the evening tide." David, amida all the splendour of royalty, often bears witness both to the pleasure which he received, and to the benefit which he reaped, from devout meditation. Our blessed Saviour him. self, though of all who ever lived on earth, he needed lealt the assistance of religious retreat, yet, by his frequent prace tice, has done it fignal honour. Often were the garden, the mountain, and the filence of the night, fought by him, for intercourse with Heaven. When he had sent the mula titude

away, he went up into a mountain, apart, to pray." The world is the great deceiver, whose fallacious arts it highly imports us to detect. But in the midit of its pleafures and pursuits, the detection is in poffible. We tread, as within an enchanted circle, where nothing appears as it truly is. It is only in retreat, that the charm can be brok.

Did men employ that retreat, not in carrying on the delusion which the world has begun, not in forming plans of imaginary blits, but in lubjecting the happiness which the world affords to a frict discussion, the fpell would dissolve ; and in the room of the unreal prospects, which had long amused them, the nakedness of the world would appear.

Let us prepare ourselves, then, to encounter the light of truth ; and resolve rather to bear the disappointment of some flattering hopes, than to wander forever in the paradile of fools. While others meditate in secret on the means of attaining worldly success, let it be our employment to scrutinize that success itself. Let us calculate fairly to what it amounts ; and whether we are not losers on the whole, by our apparent gain. Let us look back for this purpose on our past life. Let us trace it from our earlielt youth; and put the question to ourselves, what have been its happielt periods Were they those of quiet and innocence, or

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those of ambition and intrigue ? Has our real enjoyment uniformly kept pace with what the world calls prosperity ? As we advanced in wealth or Itation, did we proportionally advance in happiness. Has fuccefs, almost in any one inftance, fulfilled our expectations? Where we reckoned upon molt enjoyment, have we not often found leaft? Where. ever guilt entered into pleasure, did not its fting long remain, after the gratification was pait? Such quettions as these, candidly answered, would in a great measure uunnask the world. They would expose the vanity of its pretensions ; and convince us, that there are other springs than those which the world affords, to which we must apply for happiness. While we commune with our heart concerning what the world now is, let us confider also what it will one day appear to be. Let us anticipate the awful moment of our bidding it an eternal farewell ; and think, what reflections will most probably arise, when we are quitting the field, and looking back on the scene of

In what light will our closing eyes contemplate those vanities which now shine fo bright, and those interefts which now twell into fuch high importance? What part shall we then wish to have acted? What will then appear momentous, what trifting, in humar: conduct ?-Let the sober sentiments which such anticipations fuggelt, tem. per now our misplaced ardour. Let the last conclusions which we shall form enter into the present estimate which we make of the world, and of life.

Moreover, in communing with ourselves concerning the world let us contemplate it as subject to the Divine dominion. The greater part of men behold nothing more than the rotation of human affairs. They see a great crowd ev. er in motion; the fortunes of men alternately rising and falling ; virtue often distressed, and profperity appearing to be the purchase of worldly wisdom. But this is only the outside of things : behind the curtain, there is a far greater {cene, which is beheld by none but the retired, religious

If we lift up that curtain, when we are alone with God, and view the world with the eye of a christian ; we shall see that while “ man's heart deviseth his way, it is the Lord who directeth his steps.” We Thall fee, that however men appear to move and act after their own pleasure, they are, nevertheless, retained in secret bonds by the Al. mighty, and all their operations rendered fubfervient to the eads of his moral government. We shall behold him oblig

spectator.

BLAIR.

ing “the wrath of man to praise him ; punishing the finner by means of his own iniquities ; from the trials of the righteous, bringing forth their reward ; and to a state of feeming universal confusion, preparing the wifeft and most equitable iffue. While the fashion of this world is palling faft away, we shall discern the glory of another rising to fucceed it. We shall behold all human events, our griefs and our joys, our love and our hatred, our character and memory, abforbed in the ocean of eternity ; and no trace of our pres. ent exiltence left, except its being forever “ well with the righteous, and ill with the wicked.”

SECTION XI.
History of ten days of Seged, emperor of Ethiopia.

Of Heaven's protection who can be
So confident to utter this ?-

To-morrow I will spend in bliss. F. LEWIS. Seged, lord of Ethiopia, to the inhabitants of the world : to the fons of presumption, humility, and fear; and to the daughters of forrow, content and acquiescence.

Thus, in the twenty-seventh year of his reign, spoke Seged, the monarch of forty nations, the distributer of the waters of the Nile : “At length, Seged, thy toils are at an end ; thou halt reconciled disaffection, thou haft suppressed rebellion, thou hast pacified the jealoulies of thy courtiers, thou haft chased war from thy confines, and erect. ed fortresses in the lands of thy enemies. All who have offended thee tremble in thy presence ; and wherever thy voice is heard, it is obeyed. Thy throne is surrounded by armies, numerous as the locusts of the summer, and resist. less as the blasts of pestilence. Thy magazines are stored with ammunition, thy treasures overfluw with the tribute of conquered kingdoms. Plenty waves upon thy fields, and opulence glitters in thy cities. Thy nod is as the

earthquake that shakes the mountains, and they smile as the dawn of the vernal day. In thy hand is the strength of thousands, and thy health is the health of millions. Thy palace is gladdened by the fong of praise, and thy path perfumed by the breath of benediction. Thy subjects gaze upon thy greatness, and think of danger or misery no more. "Why, Seged, wilt not thou partake of the bleflings thou bestowelt? Why shouldlt thou only forbear to rejoice in this general felicity? Why should thy face be clouded with anxiety, when the meanest of those who call thee fove

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