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He carrieth on great works; his country is enriched, and the laborer is employed; he formeth new schemes, and the arts receive improvement.
5 He considereth the superfluities of his table as belonging to the poor of his neighborhood, and he defraudeth them not. The benevolence of his mind is not checked by his fortune; he rejoiceth therefore in riches, and his joy is blameless.
6 But wo unto him that heapeth up wealth in abundance, and rejoiceth alone in the possession thereof. That grindeth the face of the poor, and considereth not the sweat of their brows. He thriveth on oppression without feeling; the ruin of his brother disturbeth him not. The tears of the orphan he drinketh as milk; the cries of the widow are music to his ear.
7 His heart is hardened with the love of wealth; no grief nor distress can make impression upon it. But the curse of iniquity pursueth him; he liveth in continual fear; the anxiety of his mind, and the rapacious desires of his own soul, take vengeance upon him, for the calamities he hath brought upon others.
8 0, what are the miseries of poverty in comparison with the gnawings of this man's heart! Let the poor man comfort himself, yea, rejoice, for he hath many reasons. He sitteth down to his morsel in peace; his table is not crowded with flatterers and devourers. He is not embarrassed with a train of dependents, nor teased with the clamors of solicitation.
9 Debarred from the dainties of the rich, he escapeth also their diseases. The bread that he eateth, is it not sweet to his taste? the water he drinketh, is it not pleasant to his thirst? yea, far more delicious than the richest draughts of the luxurious. His labor preserveth his health, and procureth him a repose, to which the downy bed of sloth is a stranger.
10 He limiteth his desires with humility; and the calm of contentment is sweeter to his soul than all the acquirements of wealth and grandeur. Let not the rich, therefore, presume on his riches; nor the poor in his poverty yield to despondence; for the providence of God dispenseth happiness to them both.
11 The honor of a servant is his fidelity; his highest virtues are submission and obedience. Be patient, therefore, under the reproofs of thy master; and when he rebuketh thee answer not again. The silence of thy resignation shall not be forgotten. Be studious of his interests; be diligent in his affairs; and faithful to the trust which he reposeth in thee.
12 Thy time and thy labor belong unto him. Defraud him
not therefore, for he payeth thee for them. And thou who art a master, be kind to thy servant, if thou expectest from him fidelity; and reasonable in thy commands, if thou expectest a ready obedience. The spirit of a man is in him; severity and rigor may create fear, but can never command his love.
13 Mix kindness with reproof, and reason with authority; so shall thy admonitions take place in his heart, and his duty shall become his pleasure. He shall serve thee faithfully from the motive of gratitude; he shall obey thee cheerfully from the principle of love; and fail not thou, in return, to give his diligence and fidelity their proper reward.
The social duties: benevolence, justice, charity, religion.
1' When thou considerest thy wants, when thou beholdest thy imperfections, acknowledge his goodness, O son of humanity! who honored thee with reason, endowed thee with speech, and placed thee in society to receive and confer reciprocal helps and mutual obligations.
2 Thy food, thy clothing, thy convenience of habitation, thy protection from the injuries, the enjoyment of the comforts and the pleasures of life, all these thou owest to the assistance of others; and couldst not enjoy but in the bands of society. It is thy duty therefore to be a friend to mankind, as it is thy interest that man should be friendly to thee.
3 As the rose breatheth sweetness from its own nature, so the heart of a benevolent man produceth good works. He enjoyeth the ease and tranquillity of his own breast, and rejoiceth in the happiness and prosperity of his neighbor. He openeth not his ear unto slander; the faults and the failings of men give a pain to his heart.
4 His desire is to do good, and he searcheth out the occasion thereof; in removing the oppression of another, he relieveth himself. From the largeness of his mind he comprehendeth in his wishes the happiness of all men; and from the generosity of his heart, he endeavoreth to promote it.
5 The peace of society dependeth on justice; the happiness of individuals, on the safe enjoyment of all their possessions. Keep the desires of thy heart, therefore, within the bounds of moderation; let the hand of justice lead them aright. Cast not an evil eye on the goods of thy neighbor; let whatever is his property be sacred from thy touch.
6 In thy dealings with men be impartial and just; and do unto them as thou wouldst they should do unto thee.
7 When thou sellest for gain, hear the whispering of conscience, and be satisfied with moderation; nor from the ignorance of the buyer make any advantage to thyself.
8 Pay the debts which thou owest; for he who gave thee credit, relied upon thine honor: and to withhold from him his due, is both mean and unjust.
9 Finally; O son of society! examine thy heart, call remembrance to thy aid; and if, in any of those things, thou findest thou hast transgressed, take sorrow and shame to thyself, and make speedy reparation to the utmost of thy power.
10 Happy is the man who hath sown in his breast the seeds of benevolence; the produce thereof shall be charity and love. From the fountain of his heart shall rise rivers of goodness; and the streams shall overflow for the good of mankind. He assisteth the poor in their trouble; he rejoiceth in furthering the prosperity of all men.
11 He censureth not his neighbor; he believeth not the tales of envy and malevolence; neither repeateth he their slanders. He forgiveth the injuries of men; he wipeth them from his remembrance; revenge and malice have no place in his heart. For evil he returneth not evil; he hateth not even his enemies; but requiteth their injustice with friendly admonition.
12 The griefs and anxieties of men excite his compassion, he endeavors to alleviate the weight of their misfortunes; and the pleasure of success rewardeth his labor. He calmeth the fury, he healeth the quarrels of angry men, and preventeth the mischiefs of strife and animosity. He promoteth in his neighborhood peace and good will; and his name is repeated with praise and benedictions.
13 The providence of God is over all his works; he ruleth and directeth with infinite wisdom. He hath instituted laws for the government of the world; he hath wonderfully varied them in all beings; and each by his nature, conform to his will. His goodness is conspicuous in all his works; he is the fountain of excellence, the centre of perfection.
14 The creatures of his hand declare his goodness, and all their enjoyments speak his praise; he clotheth them with beauty; he supporteth them with food; and preserveth them from generation to generation. If we lift up our eyes to the heavens, his glory shineth forth; if we cast them down upon the earth, it is full of his goodness: the hills and the vallies rejoice and sing; fields, rivers, and woods, resound his praise., 15 But thee, O man! he hath distinguished with peculiar
favor, and exalted thy station above all creatures. He hath endowed thee with reason to maintain thy dominion; he hath fitted thee with language to improve by society; and exalted thy mind with the powers of meditation, to contemplate and adore his inimitable perfections.
16 And in the laws he hath ordained as a rule of thy life, so kindly hath he suited thy duty to thy nature, that obedience to his precepts is happiness to thyself. "O praise his goodness with songs of thanksgiving, and meditate in silence on the wonders of his love: let thy heart overflow with gratitude and acknowledgment; let the language of thy lips speak praise and adoration; let the actions of thy life show thy love to his law."
Man considered in general.
1 Weak and ignorant as thou art, O man! humble as thou aughtest to be, O child of the dust! wouldst thou raise thy thoughts to infinite wisdom? wouldst thou see omnipotence displayed before thee? contemplate thine own frame. Wonderfully art thou made; praise therefore thy Creator with awe, and rejoice before him with reverence.
2 Know thyself then, the pride of his creation; the link uniting divinity and matter; behold a part of God himself within thee: remember thine own dignity; nor dare descend to evil or to meanness.
3 Say not unto the crow, why numberest thou seven times the age of thy lord? or, to the fawn, why are thine eyes to see my offspring to a hundred generations? Are these to be compared with thee in the abuse of life? are they riotous ? are they cruel? are they ungrateful? Learn from them rather, that innocence of life and simplicity of manners are the paths to a good old age. Knowest thou to employ life better than these? then less of it may suffice thee.
4 Enough hast thou of life, but thou regardest not: thou art not in want of it, O man! but thou art prodigal: thou throwest it lightly away, as if thou hadst more than enough; and yet thou repinest that it is not gathered again unto thee. Know that it is not abundance which maketh rich, but economy. The wise continueth to live from his first period; the fool is always beginning. Be virtuous while thou art young, so shall thine age be honored.
5 What blindeth the eye, or what hideth the heart of a man from himself, like vanity? Lo! when thou seest not
thyself, then others discover thee most plainly. Do well while thou livest; but regard not what is said of it. Content thyself with deserving praise, and thy posterity shall rejoice in hearing it.
6 Beware of irresolution in the intent of thy actions, beware of instability in the execution; so shalt thou triumph over too great failings of thy nature. Establish unto thyself principles of action; and see that thou ever act according to them. First know that thy principles are just, and then be thou inflexible in the path of them.
7 Attribute not the good actions of another to bad motives: thou canst not know his heart; but the world will know by this, that thine is full of envy. There is not in hypocrisy more vice than folly; to be honest is as easy as to seem so. Be more ready to acknowledge a benefit than to revenge an injury; so shalt thou have more benefits than injuries done unto thee. Be more ready to love than to hate; so shalt thou be loved by more than hate thee.
8 Be willing to commend, and be slow to censure; so shall praise be unto thy virtues, and the eye of enmity shall be blind to thy imperfections. When thou dost good, do it because it is good; not because men esteem it: when thou avoidest evil, fly it, because it is evil; not because men speak against it be honest for love of honesty, and thou shalt be uniformly so; he that doth it without principle is wavering.
9 Presumption is the bane of reason; it is the nurse of error. What is the origin of superstition? and whence ariseth false worship? From our presuming to reason about what is above our reach, to comprehend what is incomprehensible.
10 Riches are servants to the wise; but they are tyrants over the soul of the fool. The covetous serveth his gold; it serveth not him; he possesseth his wealth as the sick doth a fever; it burneth and tortureth him, and will not quit him unto death.
11 Poverty wanteth many things; but covetousness denieth itself all. The covetous can be good to no man; but he is to none so cruel as to himself. Be industrious to procure gold; and be generous in the disposal of it; man is never so happy as when he giveth happiness unto another.
12 If there be a vice greater than the hoarding up of riches, it is the employing them to useless purposes. He that prodigally lavisheth that which he hath to spare, robbeth the poor of what nature hath given them a right unto. He who squandereth away his treasure, refuseth the means to do good: he