Page images

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption; whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the chil. dren of God:

BIBLE, Paul 8 Ep. Rom. viii; 15-16. Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

BIBLE, John, v; 28, 29. The destiny of man is, to perfect himself,

The wise man, whose virtue is actively efficient, endeavors everywhere, always and in all circumstances, not to undertake anything which violates the laws of his reason.

Riches and honor are two things which mortals desire; but if the reason does not approve of the possession of them, the truly wise man will not seek to attain them.

Men hate and flee from poverty and abasement.

But the truly wise man, although unjustly thrown into such circumstances, will never try to escape from them by unjust means. CONFUCIUS.

According to our relationship to the gods, is virtue-moral excellencethe proper aim of our life.

Above all, our happiness should depend upon our immortal part; which the will of the gods, our creators, has made the noblest. ZOROASTER.

How brief is this life ; and how unhappy is he who does not apply himself to the practice of virtue! virtue, which produces the only true good which we can enjoy with real profit.

That death is certain, no one doubts.
We are only ignorant of the moment at which we shall dic.

But if it is true that it is to come upon us, whether we are good or bad, then turn your attention to it, and determine on which of those two sides you will be ranked.

The Hindoo Book, Czour-Vedam. He who always draws in his senses, as the tortoise does his limbs, from contact with sensual allurements, his soul is firmly fixed in wisdom.

BHAGAVAD-Gita. Men should pray, not to the visible material sun, but to the divine; to that incomparably higher light which illuminates all, rejoices all, from which all proceeds, to which all must return.

Laws of Menu. The wise man seeks to acquire knowledge and wealth, as if he were not subject to death or sickness; and fulfills his religious duties, as if he were upon the verge of death.

Knowledge produces humility, humility worth, worth wealth. But from religion comes happiness.

Knowledge is the most valuable treasure, for it can not be stolen nor consumed.

As the figures on an earthen vessel can not be easily effaced, so is wisdom impressed upon the young.

AUTHOR OF Hitopadesa. The end of all instruction is virtue; and after this must the scholar strive, even as he who draws a bow, must fear nothing so much as to miss.

The teacher must set before the young a high object, by the examples of the wise men of old; he must proceed as does the sculptor in forming the rough stone.

Instructions and admonitions must be as the spring rain to the needs of the husbandman.


Strive to make your exterior brilliant and your interior pure; let every look and gesture, every word, be a precious stone; that you may become lord of the earth, of your wife, of your substance, of health and splendor.

Whether you wake or sleep, consider always what is a proper regard for yourself; whatever you do or omit, never forget that you are setting an example.

Never must you cherish the smallest fault; a rule that will save you much damage; nor can you cultivate the smallest virtue without receiving a double reward.

He who plants no corn will gather no ears; and he who does not gather his crop, on what will he live ?

Book of Chinese Poems, collected by CONFUCIUS. After RUECKERT. A just man obeys strictly the voice of his inner self, that in all his actions he may conform his will to it.

He who is deaf to this heavenly voice, will give free course to his pas. sions, and will call every vice to arms.

Oh, how is it possible for one to become a good and wise man, who despises this ray which shines to each man from heaven? IIow can such a man escape from evil and arrive at perfect goodness ?

No: He will do what is inconsistent with the dignity of man, and will thus fall into the very evils which he would avoid. CONFUCIUS.

For a guide, choose Reason.

Then, when you leave the body, you become immortal, like one of the eternal gods; no longer subject to death. Accustom yourself, therefore, to do all things according to Reason.

PYTHAGORAS. Let man strive to be worthy of Heaven; let him, in this world, do good out of a pure heart; let him be pure in thought, word and deed; lct. him seek only what is good, and be holy and speak the truth.

ZOROASTER. Reason is the noblest and best thing; and this the gods have freely given to us.

EPICTETUS. Man consists of an elementary nature, and a rational or divine principle; a part of the universal soul, an influx of the central fire, and an irrational part, namely, the passions.

At death, therefore, it is only the first of these that perishes. The reasoning part, in virtue of which man is man-the spirit itself, is immortal.

When death loosens his chains, he goes, with an ætherial body, to the abodes of the dead, until the time when he returns again to the earth, in order to dwell there again in another body, human or animal, until at last, after having become fully purified, he is raised up to God, the cternal source of all good.

Harinony in all things is the end after which man should strive. As. in the universe, it should exist in man, as if in a miniature world..

Therefore man should endeavor to understand himself; that he may attain to perception of abstract relations, of harmony, of heavenly beauty, and thus may enter into fit intercourse with the divine, and find therein his highest good.

PYTHAGORAS. It is by virtue that man makes himself like God, so far as it is possible. for him.

Virtue consists in justice, in moderating the desires, and in holiness. Religion secures to the just man two inestimable advantages ; unbroken peace during life, and blissful hope in the hour of death.

It would be frightful to believe that the Gods were mindful of our gjits and sacrifices, but hecded not whether the soul is holy and just.

Plato. When in the morning you wake from refreshing sleep, reflect at once :and seriously, what you must do during the day. Before sleep closes your eyes, think three times over all that you have done during the day; and ask yourself, whither you are going, what you are doing, and what you yet lack of the divine; what you have overlooked, what done, and what neglected.

PYTHAGORAS. What is the noblest thing in human life?

Not to fill the sea with ficets, to hoist your flag on every coast, or if there is no more land, to search the ocean and discover unknown countries; but it is to attain to intellectual insight; and to win the greatest victorythat over vice.

Those are innumerable who have conquered cities and nations; but those who have conquered themselves are but few.

What is noblest ?

To elevate the mind above the threats and promises of fate; to endure ill fortune with cheerful courage; to receive whatever comes as if it had bem so willed. For weeping, complaining, sighing, are to resign our faite

What is noblest?

To let no low thoughts come into the mind; to lift up towards heaven pure hands and an upright heart; and if an accident shall put you in possession of what others valuc highly, to prescrve the same demeanor when it comes and when it goes.

What is noblest ?

To be every moment prepared to die. This makes free; not according to the provisions of the Roman law, but according to the law of nature. He is free who is not a slave to himself. Such slavery is eternal. To be one's own slave is the severest servitude. And yet it is easy to free one's self from it.

Oh, it is delightful to wander beneath the stars, to laugh at the magnificent halls of the rich, and at all the treasures which the earth has already yielded to them, and which she still conceals in her bosom for the satisfaction of their avarice.

And the wise man says, This is the speck for which so many nations ravage each other with fire and sword !

If the ants were endowed with human reason, would they not divide their little realm into many provinces ?

There is something lofty and noble in the human soul, that gist of the gods-yes, something divine.

When the day arrives which shall separate the union of human and divine things, I will leave my body behind, where I found it, and give myself back to the Divine.

There is but one heavy earthly burden which withholds me from my flight beyond the stars.

But our abode during this mortal period is only a type of a longer and better life.

As we are preserved for months in the mother's womb, and prepared for the place for which we are designed, so in like manner, during the whole period from youth to age, are we in preparation for another birth.

The hour of death is the last hour, only of the body.

All which you here see around you, consider only as the baggage at an inn.

The transition must be ventured; nature compels you; both at your entrance into the world and at your departure out of it. The Divine also, is around us. It is with us. It is in us.

SENECA. Man is distinguished from other creatures, chiefly by this; that the desires and actions of the latter depend only on transient impressions upon the senses; while man, endowed with reason, seeks the causes and consequences of things, and lays down a fixed plan to live by.

Moreover, man alone possesses the capacity of speech as a means of communicating his thoughts.

Moreover, man alone possesses the desire for knowledge, or the impulse to know truth, together with the means of satisfying this impulse.

Finally—the last great distinction of nature, the last great effort of reason-man alone is sensible of order, decency, propriety:

In man there exists a power which draws him toward what is morally good, and away from what is bad; a power as lofty as the divine power which maintains earth and sky, derived from the divine reason itself.

Sleep is the image of death-sleep, in which you wrap yourself daily.

A man dies with the utmost calmness then only, when the life which is departing encourages itself with good actions done.

No one has lived too short a life, who has attained and practiced perfect virtue.

We can then look upon death as a dismission from prison and a release from chains, in order either to enter into an eternal abode prepared for us, or to be without any perception of or care for the future.

But, as we are not created by blind chance or accident, so it is certain that a higher being cares for us at death; a higher being who can not have created and maintained us here, in order after we have endured all manner of trouble, then to plunge us into the never-ending evil of death.

No; we must rather be convinced that there is some haven, some place of refuge, prepared for us.

Honor, justice, goodness-such is the path to heaven, and to the society of the noble who have already lived.

Elevate thyself, therefore, and act as not being thyself mortal, but thy body only

For it is not this bodily form which is thyself, but it is the soul of each one, which is his own divine self; and no shape which can be pointed out with the finger.

Believe in the Divine within thee.

There is nothing more valuable than the mysteries of Eleusis, which purify this life from barbarism, and train it to humanity.

We truly comprehend the principles of living, when we understand not only how to live with cheerfulness, but how to die with better hopes.

Cicero. Man consists of two parts; the body, formed of primitive matter, and the soul, sprung from the primeval force of the universal soul; that is, from God.

The body is the organ and mirror of the mind; and for that reason requires the most diligent care both for its support and development.

By reason primarily, man is distinguished from all other living creatures, raises himself high above them, and becomes a man, in the higher sense of the word.

The soul is an efflux of the universal soul; by means of it, man stands in the closest relation to God, is related to him, is his image.

It is through reason that we become wise.

The fundamental principle of human action can be no other than “Live in accordance with nature:” do what is consistent with your mental nature, your reason; live according to your reason, within which your destiny is revealed—to your dignity as human beings—to virtue. Follow, in this manner, the principles of God; make the law which the highest reason follows, the rule of your action; let your will be in harmony with the will of the ruler of the world.

ANTONINCS Plus. Learn to know yourselves and the laws and designs of nature! Who are we mortals ? To what duties and condition, and on what plan are we born? How and where can we most certainly recognize and attain the purpose of life? When is the glitter of silver evil? What desires are noble and profitable? For what purpose has God chosen me, and what part has he entrusted to me ?— These things seek after. PERSIUS.

Man lives in accordance with his nature, when he lives a virtuous life; not when he lives an animal life.,

Man alone, of all living beings on earth, is the image of God.
By virtue must he make himself like him.

MusoniUS. I am a man; nothing human is alien to me.

TERENTICS. Man is noble, if he is truly man.

Æschylus. Remember, that thou art a man.

SIMONIDES. Thou art a man. Know this, and reflect upon it. PHILEMON.

Man is distinguished from the other created beings of the carth, and principally by this: that the desires and efforts of the latter depend upon impressions upon their senses at the time, and are limited to the present time and place, with little memory of the past or care for the future. Man, on the contrary, is endowed with reason, which makes him capable of understanding the causes and consequences of things, of taking notice both of their connection and origin, of comparing similar subjects, and thus of joining together the future and the present, of laying down a plan of life, and thus of preparing in advance whatever is necessary to enable him to complete such plan.

Another peculiarity of human nature is, that the same reason enables men to communicate their thoughts to each other by means of speech, and to co-operate in case of mutual need; that they feel a still stronger and more enduring affection towards their offspring, than beasts, and that they are created not only to desire the existence and maintenance of all social organizations among men, but also themselves to take part in it.

A third distinction of the human race is, Desire of knowledge; the impulse to know the truth, and the capacity to investigate it.

Connected with this desire for truth and knowledge is that for honor; the desire for pre-eminence and power; in accordance with which, every man whose natural character is not completely ruined, listens to no one so willingly as to him who teaches something before unknown, and furnishes rules for some department of effort never before investigated; or to him who, for his own good, commands him in accordance with justice and law.

This latter tendency, again, is related to greatness of soul; and strengthens it to raise itself above the changeableness of the accidents of human life.

The last great trait of human nature, and the last great effort of reason is, that man alone, of all created beings, has a sense of order; an idea of propriety and decency, or of any fixed rule for utterance or action.

No other creature regards beauty, grace, or harmony of parts, even in visible objects.

Our destiny is serious; our occupations are great and important.

In truth, when we reflect what is man; what powers lie within his nature; to what excellence he can attain, we shall feel that nothing can

« PreviousContinue »