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and bear adversity, is seldom found in those, who give indulgence to appetite and passion. takes away the heart. ."
If we would be prepared for the vicissitudes of an inconstant world, we must habituate ourselyes to sobriety and selfgovernment. If we would enjoy the blessings of friendship, and the comforts of our worldly possessions, we must restrain our appetites, rectify our tempers and rule our tongues. The greatest affluence can never make a man happy, without a virtuous mind and prudent man. ners.
Nabal was blessed with a plentiful fortune, and an amiable companion. But what could these de. sirable circumstances avail the churlish wretch, who was void of the feelings of benevolence, and á stranger to the sentiments of gratitude-who knew not when to do a favour, nor how to acknowl. edge a courtesy-whose rough passions and rude language alienated his friends, and made strangers his enemies--whose wanton government excited the contempt of his servants—whose unsocial manners extinguished the affections of his wife-whose excessive indulgence obliterated the feeble traces of reason, which passion had left, and who, at last, died from a mere depression of spirit, at the thought of a danger, in which his own mad conduct had involved him ?
Such a character, in the greatest afluence, appears contemptible in every eye.
Let us not be solicitous for worldly wealth ; Our only solicitude should be to approve ourselves to God by rectitude of heart, and piety of life. Riches can make no man happy without virtue. The virtuous man may be happy without riches. WorldJy wealth is a curse when it fails to the share of one, who knows neither how to use it, nor how to enjoy it.
Had Nabal lived in poverty, instead of plenty, he might have acted more discreetly, and died less infamously. The natural haughtiness of his temper was probably increased by the idea of his worldly importance; and his affluent substance afforded him the means of destroying himself by intemper
Providence gives us some instances of men ruin. ed and undone by their affluence, to teach us that it is neither to be envied in others, nor coveted for ourselves. We sometimes see those, who, having acted with propriety, and acquitted themselves with reputation, in the lower grades of life, grow haughty, insolent and vain, on a sudden elevation. Let us then have our conversation without covetousness, and be content with such things as we have.
That we may enjoy ourselves, let us rule our spirits. He who is a slave to his own passions, is subject to perpetual torment within, and exposed to a thousand vexations from without..
That we may enjoy the world, let us use it with sobriety ; for all excess is as inconsistent with enjoyment, as it is with virtue. That we may prevent injuries, let us do none ourselves ; for Who will harm us, if we are followers of that which is good? If we would have friends we must shew ourselves friendly. Friendship is a delicate flower ; it may
be blasted by the frequent winds of passion, or be nipped by the frost of indifference.
If we wish for respect from our children and do. mesticks let us rule them by the laws of kindness and love, forbearing menaces and not provoking them to anger, lest they be discouraged. A
passionate government brings contempt; wanton se. verity excites rebellion.
If we would know the steady pleasures of do. mestick union, let us be pitiful and courteous, kind in our language, and obliging in our manners. Smooth language prevents, and soft answers turn away wrath. Love is the happiness of domestick connexions. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
The different effects of a similar Education illus
trated in Herod and Manaen.
Now there were,
in the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers ; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, who had been broughi up with Herod the letrarch.
We here see two men educated in the same family, and probably in much the same manner, and yet pursuing a very different course of life.-“Manaen was brought up with Herod the tetrarch.”
It would be natural to expect, that children, who grew up together under similar examples and instructions, should appear in the same moral and religious character, when they came forward into publick life. But in the instance before us, the event was otherwise. We find one among the min. isters, and the other among the persecutors of the church of Christ.
The whole family of the Herods are stigmatised in history for their lust and ambition, and especially
for their cruelty. Herod the great slew the infants in Bethlehem ; his son imprisoned and murdered John the Baptist ; and his grandson killed James the apostle.
Manaen is no where mentioned in the sacred history, but in this place. All that we read of him is, that he was brought up with Herod, as a brother, but was afterward among the propliets and teachers in the church at Antioch, and was one of those who ministered to the Lord, and who, by the direction of the Holy Ghost, separated Barnabas and Paul to the work of preaching the gospel aniong the Gentiles. His name as well as the place of his early education, shews that he was a Jew by descent.
The church in Antioch was one of the most famous christian churches. It was here that the disciples. of Christ first assumed the name of christians. From Manaen's being found ministering to the Lord among the prophets in this church, we may conclude, that he early professed his belief of the gospel. And the superior learning which he had acquired in his education with a young prince, together with his distinguished piety, zeal and fortitude, recommended him to the apostles as a man well" qualified to take part with them in their ministry. He was certainly a man eminent for his faith and virtue, as well as for his learning and abilities; else he would not so soon have been admitted to a place among the prophets and teachers in this celebrated church.
The character of Herod was just the reverse of Manaen's. He was vicious and debauched in his private life, haughty, cruel and tyrannical in nis government and a murderer of Christ's forerunner.
So diverse were the characters of these two men, who were brought up together under similar in structions and exainples.