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the angels of Heaven, over one sinner that repenteth;' and surely this joy is not incommunicable to souls disentangled from the body, and made like angels.
Let hope therefore dictate, what revelation does not confute, that the union of souls may still remain; and that we who are struggling with sin, sorrow, and infirmities, may have our part in the attention and kindness of those who have finished their course, and are now receiving their reward.
These are the great occasions which force the mind to take refuge in religion. When we have no help in ourselves, what can remain but that we look up to a higher and a greater Power? and to what hope may we not raise our eyes and hearts, when we consider that the greatest Power is the best?
Surely, there is no man, who, thus afflicted, does not seek succour in the gospel, which has 'brought life and immortality to light.' The precepts of Epicurus, who teaches us to endure what the laws of the universe make necessary, may silence, but not content us. The dictates of Zeno, who commands us to look with indifference on external things, may dispose us to conceal our sorrow, but cannot assuage it. Real alleviation of the loss of friends, and rational tranquillity in the prospect of our own dissolution, can be re
ceived only from the promises of Him in whose hands are life and death, and from the assurance of another and a better state, in which all tears will be wiped from the eyes, and the whole soul be filled with joy.
ANSWER me, burning stars of night!
That past the reach of human sight,
Ask things that cannot die !'
Oh! many toned, and chainless wind!
Tell me, if thou its place can find,
Ye clouds that gorgeously repose
Answer! have ye a home for those,
The bright clouds answered, 'We depart,
Ask what is deathless in thy heart,
Speak, then, thou voice of God within!
THERE is one method, of a very general nature and diffused over the whole of life, of contributing to human happiness, in which both they that can, and they that cannot increase it by pecuniary communications, may alike concur, which is, the habitual exercise of an honest desire to give pleasure in the general tenor of our conversation and deportment, of a sincere and unaffected courtesy in all our words and actions. There are innumerable nameless attentions and miniature offices of kindness, which have been found so necessary to smooth the intercouses of mankind with one another, that the members of civilized society have, in all nations and ages, agreed among themselves to rank those manners that are composed of such expressions of good will, among the decencies and elegances of life; to assume, in each other's society, at least a semblance of that kindness, which they have felt to be so essential to the pleasure and comfort of social life; to conceal the asperities of their temper under the silken mantle of ceremony; to throw a veil over whatever mutual envy, jealousy, or dislike they might feel; and to dress out their minds, as well as their bodies, whenever they meet together.