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ducts to a good old age. The goodness of the Divine Being is most strikingly exemplified in uniting health and temperance, happiness and longevity, and our duty to our fellow creatures, all in one.
Long life and good days, however, depend more upon the state of our minds almost any
other circumstance. He who lives in fear and trouble arising from any cause whatever; whether from contemplation of endless misery in the future world, or from the apprehension that his earthly prospects will be blasted and his fortune laid in ruins or if he is continually involved in quarrels, bruils and tumults with his neighbors, has but little prospect of living to old age, and certainly no hope of seeing good days. He is in a constant hell. Here then we see the beauty and propriety of our text: “ What man is he that desireth life and loveth many days that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile; depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
The first condition for a long life is, “keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile.” But the question arises, in what sense can the violation of that condition have
the length of life? The answer is at handthe slanderer is ever a busy body in other men's matters. He is secretly endeavoring to injure his neighbors. He circulates falsehoods about them from house to house. One and another hears the reports put into circulation. They call upon the author for an explanation of his conduct. Involved in trouble, arising from fear, guilt and mortification, he tells a thousand falsehoods to clear up one. All this preys upon his inmost vitals, while perhaps with another, whom he has slandered, he is involved in a quarrel, and it terminates in a settled hatred; and a third case becomes an incurable distemper of rancour and revenge. Here is a man who by slander has rendered his existence wretched. He is like the troubled ocean whose waters find no rest.
There is but little hope of his reaching the common age of man.
Instead of seeing good days he is walking in the regions of night and wo. Says the wise man, " where there is no fuel the fire goeth out, so where there is no tattler, strife ceaseth." Yes, where there is envying and strife, there is confusion and every evil work.
Violent anger excites powerfully the caloric in the human system, boils the blood, and in this state throws it suddenly upon the brain. The powerful shock propels it instantly to the exterior surface, and torrent-like contracts it back again in redoubled fury upon the brain, and leaves the countenance pale and ghastly. It deranges in a great measure the mind, and unfits it for useful action. It darts its electric fire of vengeance along the optic nerve,expands the retina, and gives to every object a magnified and false ap
pearance, while the very eye-balls by a wild and savage glare proclaim the dreadful storm that is raging within, and pouring the poisonous streams of premature death through all the healthful channels of existence! It suddenly braces the nervous system, and then on the opposite extreme leaves it depressed and weakened. It gradually brings on rheumatic complaints, and lays the whole system open to the most formidable and painful disorders that afflict the human race.It cannot have escaped medical observation that fevers and consumptions are much more frequent among persons who are very irritable and exercise little or no rule over their passions, than
those who are of a mild temperament, either naturally, or from early restraint and education
There is a connexion between the mind and the body so subtle that it has hitherto eluded the eagle-eye of Physiology, and will perhaps remain inscrutible forever to human comprehension. But that this connexion exists is fully demonstrated by medical experience, and observation. Many bodily disorders derange the mind, and have in many instances totally destroyed it. So on the other hand, diseases of the mind effect the body in return, and grief, despair and melancholy have so preyed upon the vitals as to emaciate the body, and bring it to the grave. It is not uncommon that consumptions are brought on by trouble of mind, by guilt, and
melancholy and grief. And many instances have occurred, where persons in excessive violent anger have dropped down dead. What is so dreadful, when carried to extreme, must be very injurious to health, and long lise, when indulged frequently and even moderately.
There being then such an intimate connexion between the mind and body, and so many thousands of ways in which one alternately acts upon, and effects the other, and brings millions to an untimely grave, we see at once the propriety of not only guarding our health by temperance in eating and drinking, but more particularly by avoiding troubles of a mental character. These are generally brought upon individuals, families and neighborhoods, by the bad use of the tonguc.
Would you live long that you may see good days? Then keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile,seek peace and pursue it. Avoid every species of iniquity that would have a tendency to blast your own peace of others. Avoid it as you would the poisonous exhalations of the Bohon Upas, and fly it as you would the dreadfui Samiel of the Arabian desert.
SERMON II. “What man is he that desireth life and loveth many days that he may see good? Keep thy tongile from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile; depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.”—Psalm xxxiv: 12--14.
We have shown in our last number that the truth of this text is based upon philosophy, and verified by experience and observation: that nothing is more de. structive to health and longevity than to: indulge in the revengeful passions of our nature; and that constant fear, grief and, melancholy are also destructive to the human constitution, and withering to the dearest joys of life. We have shown that violent anger, revenge and most of the malignant passions originate from the bad use of the tongue; and that if we would live long and see good, we must give heed to our ways by following the injunctions of the text. propose a further discussion of this subject, addressed particularly to the young,
A single spark of fire has often wrapped a city in conflagration. Great effects not unfrequeutly flow from small causes. The apostle James says, see chap. iii“ Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small helm whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasteth great things.