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having vented all the reproaches her fury could suggest, she emptied a pot of foul water upon his head, at which he only laughed, and said, that so much thunder must need produce a shower.1

9. Coolness and recollection are of great use in all the business of life, in all public speaking and social conversation. A sensible writer has said, The wrath that on conviction subsides into mildness, is the wrath of a generous mind. He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best qualities of man. He who seldom speaks, and with one calm, well-timed word, can strike dumb the loquacious, is a genius among those who study nature.' 2

10. He who can maintain this cool and collected frame of mind will more easily wend his way through the world than his ordinary neighbours. Indeed, without a little bending and concession it is impossible to move onward amidst the interruptions common to life. Luther somewhere relates a story, that, two goats meeting on a narrow plank over a deep river, it being impossible for them to pass abreast, one of them very prudently couched, allowing the other to pass over him, so that neither of them might be in danger of falling into the stream. Mr. Cecil characteristically remarks that, the goat that thus couched was a greater gentleman than Lord Chesterfield.' The moral is a memento to persons of precipitate dispositions, who, by discreet self-restraint, and well-timed moderation, meekness and condescen

6

1 Rollin, vol. v., p. 192.

2 Mr. Birchall.

sion, may prevent much inward and outward evil. I have frequently seen coolness and recollection exemplified to the life in persons of little pretention to serious religion: and while I have admired their exemplification of the fortiter in re and the suaviter in modo, their gentleness of deportment, and the pleasantry of their spirits under great provocations, I have silently wished that myself, and other professors, might always evince equal discretion, coolness and patience.

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11. The advice of old George Fox to his Christian brethren-making allowance for peculiarity of sentiment and expression-is deserving of attention: Therefore, all friends, keep cool and quiet in the power of the Lord God, and all that is contrary will be subjected. . . Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts, and then thou wilt feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Spirit, from whom life comes, whereby thou mayest receive his strength and power to allay all blusterings, storms and tempests.' We have seen or read of mere worldly men, who have kept cool and collected amidst troubles and assaults, but the Christian believer has the best warranty to keep unmoved and undismayed.

1 Journal.

CHAPTER VIII.

CULTIVATE A HABIT OF REFLECTION, CONTENTMENT AND RESIGNATION.

'A soul without reflection, like a pile
Without inhabitant, to ruin runs.'-YOUNG.

1. REFLECTION distinguishes man from beast: without it life would be dull and monotonous to him as it is to the brute. The pleasures of friendship, of books, of retirement, would be unknown; creation with all its charms, providence with all its goodness, and revelation with all its wonders, would be a blank. Some indeed have but just enough of this quality to answer their bodily wants, nor seem to care for aught beyond; and even others, of higher advantages, fail greatly in the exercise of this faculty. They may possess learning and talents, without exemplifying their practical utility, and thus remain as low and inert as the most uncultivated. My object is not so much to treat on reflection in reference to its scope and capabilities, as to bring it to bear on actual life, in the developement of such tempers as become reasonable men.

2. I have already alluded to individuals, who, under great provocation, resolved on revenge, but, after a little cool reflection, desisted; and who, from this triumph of better judgment over their feelings, have derived greater satisfaction, and, perhaps, made a better impression on their opponents, than would otherwise have been the case.' 3. Small indeed is the portion of that man's happiness who depends only on the favourable aspect of external circumstances.

'To be resign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied---
And pleas'd with favours given-.
Most surely this is wisdom's part,
This is that incense of the heart-

Whose fragrance breathes to heav'n.'-COTTON.

Dr. Johnson writes:- Without asserting stoicism, it may be said, that it is our business to exempt ourselves as much as we can from the power of external things. There is but one solid basis of happiness; and that is, the reasonable hope of a happy futurity... Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.'

When are we happiest, then? Oh, when resigned

To whatsoe'er our cup of life may brim;

When we can know ourselves but weak and blind
Creatures of earth! and trust alone in Him

Who giveth, in his mercy, joy or pain

Oh! we are happiest then!'-M. A. BROWN.

4. David is very appropriate, and is to be regarded, as well for his deep experience as his genuine inspiration :-" Fret not thyself because

1 For an instance in point, see Spectator, No. 355.

of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity; for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. ... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him : fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way; because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” 1 We e may remark from the above-1. That we need not hurry our minds too much about the events of life-2. The causes and instruments of our trouble shall soon vanish away-3. We need not think of revenge, for those who trouble us shall soon be beaten with their own rod--4. We need not envy the prosperity of others, nor be discontented at our own poverty, for God will certainly provide for us-5. We shall do well to be quiet and rest satisfied with God's appointment-6. We should let patience have its perfect work-7. We should resign ourselves wholly to God and his providence; and 8. We should endeavour to bear up meekly under all trials.

5. God said to Jonah, "Doest thou well to be angry?" This question deserves our consideration; and we should do well ever to put it to ourselves whenever the spirit of anger may rise. On cool reflection, we must acknowledge the folly of anger, particularly for trifles; and by the due exercise of such reflection, life would be more tolerable, and our mistakes and griefs would be fewer. The Psalmist has another passage, on which we may reflect with profit-"Man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in

1 Psalm xxxvii.

2 Jonah iv. 4.

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